Finding Hope: Alberta Retired Teachers Charitable Foundation Highlights
Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of being a director of the ARTCF is to see the effect our collective giving has on our partner organizations and the people they serve. One of our first partnerships was to support the educational programs of the Alzheimer Society of Calgary. They recently shared with us the following story of how we are helping to make a difference.
Colette and Rod found hope when they thought all hope was lost
At first glance, Colette and her husband, Rod, were like any other middle-class family from Alberta. After raising a family and enjoying the economic boom, the couple were enjoying the fruits of their labour as Rod’s forty-year career in the oil and gas industry was coming to an end. As they were preparing to downsize to a condo and travel the world, everything was suddenly in jeopardy as their worst nightmare became a reality.
Colette had become suspicious of Rod’s memory troubles a few years ago, but the severity didn’t sink in until an upsetting event disrupted one of their vacations. On a trip to the Dominican Republic, Rod found himself disoriented and unable to follow the tour guide on an expedition. He was separated from his group and became lost on a remote Caribbean island.
No longer able to ignore the signs and symptoms, Colette took Rod to see a specialist as soon as they got home, where he was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Colette was devastated and unsure of where to begin. She became depressed and felt alone, but eventually listened to one of her daughters and reached out to the Alzheimer Society of Calgary.
Colette was pleasantly surprised by the support she found there. After a phone call and an in-person meeting, she had a new outlook on the future and her husband’s condition. She also immediately signed up for some public education sessions to learn more about dementia and about living with Rod’s diagnosis.
With a family trip planned to Disney World this coming winter, Rod and Colette are enjoying life and are planning to continue travelling for as long as possible.
Because of funding from the ARTCF, the Alzheimer Society of Calgary is able to help local families learn about dementia and receive the support they need along their journey.
On behalf of the Foundation, we invite you to join us in funding this and other programs for Alberta’s seniors. Currently, we support initiatives with Alzheimer Society of Alberta and NWT, Parkinson Association of Alberta, and CNIB Alberta. Over ninety-five per cent of funds donated go directly to program support.
Details on how to donate are available on the ARTA website: arta.net/advocacy/artcf/ or by phoning 1-855-212-2400.
ARTCF is a registered charitable foundation with the Canada Revenue Agency #824479588 RR0001, enabling any donations to be tax-deductible.