Mother, daughter launch Alzheimer's effort

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Two years ago, Amy Sobrino and her mother Shannon Nosbisch launched Effingham Area Alzheimer’s Awareness, a non-profit to provide help for people with Alzheimer’s Disease and their families and caregivers.

The two knew firsthand how difficult the disease can be; Amy’s grandmother had Alzheimer’s.

“We really saw, form the beginning, inability to manage her checkbook, driving was an issue,” Sobrino said. “It progressed more to forgetting how to cook, not being able to dress herself.”

Nosbisch, who cared for her mother-in-law for three years, said providing that care was daunting since she often did not know what to expect in the future.

“I don’t think you can understand Alzheimer’s until you go through it,” Nosbisch said. “It’s just such a devastating disease for the family and the person that has Alzheimer’s.”

Nosbisch and Sobrino, who now works for a memory care organization in the St. Louis area, say Effingham Area Alzheimer’s Awareness offers a number of services including nine educational meetings through the year and special Forget-me-Not Café events that allow people with Alzheimer’s and their families to socialize and enjoy themselves.

They have also set up a resource center at the Effingham Public Library, offering books, DVDs and other materials that pertain to Alzheimer’s Disease and care. The resource center also includes special kits to help families reminisce with loved ones.

“Alzheimer’s disease is very isolating,” Sobrino said. “I see it all the time in Effingham and also in my work in St. Louis where the caregiver doesn’t take care of themselves and their health and wellbeing starts to suffer.”

For more information on Effingham Area Alzheimer’s Awareness, click here.

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