On Wednesday, November 5th, in honor of Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Richmond Chapter held its Eighth Annual Alzheimer’s Advocate Recognition Reception at the Virginia Historical Society. The event was emceed by Easy 100.9 FM’s Bill Bevins.
“Advocacy means ‘giving voice’ and this year’s honorees work tirelessly in the community to give voice to those who can no longer speak for themselves,” said Sherry Peterson, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Richmond Chapter. “Advocacy is a major component of our mission and all of our advocates play an important role in improving the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families and their combined voices provide hope and are a powerful tool for change.”
This year’s honorees included Robert B. Schaefer, Delegate Christopher K. Peace, and Seniors Guide.
Robert B. Schaefer:
Mr. Schaefer became an Alzheimer’s care partner when his wife Sarah was diagnosed in her late 40’s and for twenty-two years he provided loving care, first at home and then in a long-term care facility. During this time, Schaefer began volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Richmond Chapter and in 2000, he and Debbie Perkins began the Chapter’s first support group for those in the early stage of the disease and their caregivers – a group he is still involved with today – and is a facilitator for two other Association support groups. Schaefer is a sought after speaker who openly shares his experiences and knowledge to help others and has served as a First Responder Trainer for the VA Department of Criminal Justice Services. At one time, he had trained every State Trooper in the Commonwealth and continues to provide First Responder Training through the Chapter. Schaefer was appointed by Governor Mark Warner to the Virginia Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Commission where he served for 10 years as Chair of the Training Work Group. His book, Alzheimer’s: The Identity Thief of the 21st Century, was published in 2010.
Delegate Christopher K. Peace:
Delegate Peace represents the Virginia House of Delegates’ 97th District, which includes part of Hanover, King William and New Kent Counties, and serves on the Appropriations, Health Welfare and Institutions, and General Laws Committees, as well as several statewide boards including Criminal Justice Services Board, Joint Commission on Health Care, Virginia Commission on Youth, Human Services & Public Safety Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), Human Services & Welfare Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). He has carried important legislation
ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCATION ADVOCATE RECOGNITION RECEPTION CONTINUED
relating to guardianship, home healthcare and assisted living care that has helped improve the quality of life for persons with dementia. During the last legislative session, Delegate Peace led the fight to increase funding and coverage for the Public Guardianship Program in Virginia.
Seniors Guide, published by Ross Publishing, Inc., has been an advocate and partner for the last six years as a sponsor, promoter, and friend of the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Richmond Chapter. Their efforts to support the Chapter include generously donating advertising space in their publication to the Chapter to promote and publicize activities like the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, A Round to Remember, The Conference on Dementia, and general Chapter services and information, such as Know the 10 Signs.
“We are truly grateful for the continued advocacy that these honorees provide on behalf of local families,” added Peterson.
Past honorees include: 2008 – The Honorable John M. O’Bannon, III; The Honorable John S. Reid, Andrea McDaniel of NBC12, and DOMINION; 2009 – The Honorable Edd Houk, Alex Nyerges, the Director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; and Genworth Financial; 2010 – Alzheimer’s Training for First Responders by the Department of Criminal Justice Services, Dr. Peter A. Boling, Senator Mark Warner, and Markel Corporation; 2011 – The Honorable Franklin Hall, Mrs. Phoebe Hall, Dr. Ayn Welleford, and Mary Washington Healthcare; 2012 – Senator Steve Martin, Dr. Patricia Slattum, and Don and Christy Talbott; 2013 – Lynne Seward; WWBT NBC 12, and WXGM Xtra 99.1 FM.
To learn more about becoming an Alzheimer’s advocate, please visit alz.org/grva