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A Conversation with Patti Davis, Daughter of President Ronald Reagan

Reflections & Guidance from a Family’s Journey with Alzheimer’s

The Kensington Falls Church is proud and honored to announce a special event with author and actress Patti Davis: Reflections & Guidance from a Family’s Journey with Alzheimer’s.

Date & Time: Thursday, Sept 22nd from 6 pm-7 pm EDT via Zoom

Patti Davis will discuss her decade-long journey as a family caregiver during this one-hour Zoom event. She will share her reflections and helpful wisdom all our fellow caregivers in The Kensington community.

Read on to learn more about this event and how The Kensington Falls Church is here to support our residents and their families.

Who is Patti Davis?

Patti Davis is the daughter of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Regan and First Lady Nancy Regan. She is an accomplished actress, model, writer, activist, and screenwriter. 

At the same time that she decided to help her father battle Alzheimer’s, she also began writing The Long Goodbye: Memories of My Father, which was eventually published in 2004. 

Patti Davis’ writing has appeared in some of the most prominent publications in the country, including Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times. 

Patti Davis’ caregiver journey

In her newest book, Floating in the Deep End, Patti Davis shares some of the difficulties she started facing in 1994. At the time, she struggled with mental health issues, including serious depression, that even led her to contemplate suicide. 

Everything changed when her father announced his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in a published letter. 

Patti Davis explains how the revelation could have been “the last straw” but instead gave her “something to reach for…something to focus on.” The announcement helped her move out from beneath the weight of her despair. 

Caring for her ailing father during the last decade of his life marked a profound change in Patti Davis’ life and her relationship with her parents. 

In her memoir, Patti Davis recalls that her father was often unavailable or detached when she was growing up. But, while caregiving for him and despite his struggles with the disease, she rediscovered his spirit. 

In 2004, Reagan passed away at the age of 93. 

Patti Davis said she was surprised to find how the disease “strips the person down their essence” and that it, ironically, allowed her to become closer with him. “You do lose the person,” she noted in her best-selling memoir, “but you can also find them.”

Inspiration for families and caregivers

Being the daughter of America’s most recognizable Alzheimer’s patient came with a unique set of challenges. Davis recalled how well-meaning strangers (along with friends and relatives) would routinely stop her to ask how he was doing. 

But it was only on rare occasions that someone would enquire how she was managing or coping.

While the person with Alzheimer’s should receive most of the attention, Patti Davis’ experience helped her to realize that the caregivers also need attention and care. They are, after all, one of the most significant resources someone living with Alzheimer’s has available. 

That realization led her to start a free weekly support group, Beyond Alzheimer’s—a place where caregivers could find some care for themselves. 

In the early days of the support group, she was surprised at the reaction from caregivers when she asked the simple question she rarely received herself: And how are you doing?

So many times, she says, the tears would flow almost immediately. And so often, the person would admit it had been years since someone asked that simple question. 

Almost six million American citizens have been diagnosed and live with Alzheimer’s disease today—and that number is likely to increase with the baby boomer population. Through her own experiences, Davis recognized that many relatives and loved ones need inspiration and relief from the stresses of caregiving. 

The Kensington Falls Church is devoted to caregivers during their journey

Caregivers can come from various connections—spouses, friends, children, and grandchildren. And caregiving can also come from a facility specializing in memory care and memory diseases. 

Kensington Falls Church and the dedicated team members who work there are trained experts in the comprehensive services needed for enhanced care, assisted living, and memory care communities. 

We recognize that caregiving can take a toll on the loved ones who look after those afflicted with memory disorders. To that end, our on-site medical care staff works diligently to ensure that medications can be administered correctly and that our guests’ quality of life continues to thrive. 

Elderly residents with memory diseases often need occupational, physical, and speech rehab therapy to help improve their lives. In addition, these therapeutic services can help their bodies stay fit and healthy.

Family is often crucial to a resident’s happiness and well-being, and we encourage our member’s families to visit as often as possible, pets included. 

Family caregivers, we believe, should be able to care for their own well-being as much as the ones who are rising to the challenge of their condition. Our monthly family support group and Caregiver Connect provide caregivers a sense of community and guidance in their journey.

The benefits of an Alzheimer’s Care Community for a caregiver

Transitioning a loved one to memory care or an assisted living community can be an emotional time for everyone. Knowing that your decision enables your loved one to access people and resources that can enrich their golden years can relieve some of the stress and tension. 

There are abundant opportunities directly available to them to participate in life-enriching activities, nourishing and tasty meals in a comfortable dining area, or just stroll through our beautiful grounds.

Maintaining friendships and enjoying life—in myriad ways—can help our members physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

Caregivers, especially those dealing with the particular challenges of Alzheimer’s disease or any other memory disorder, know that sharing the burden of care can improve the lives of everyone. 

That’s why we created specialized communities that match the needs of those with particular difficulties or challenges. Our communities are secure and safe, so you and your family can feel confident that your loved ones will be cared for when you’re not watching over them directly. 

Kensington Falls Church—your partners in care 

Caregiving for your loved one when they have Alzheimer’s disease or any type of dementia can be both a trial and a rewarding experience. 

Kensington Falls church is committed to bringing awareness and understanding about the challenges of caring for our elderly. As part of that pledge, we look for ways to improve the lives of our members through our tailored resources and amenities.

From our online resource hub for information, entertainment, and resources—Kensington Konnect—to on-site options and services, many choices are available to improve our residents’ quality of life even further. 

As we all work together towards a brighter future, we continue to adhere to our promise to care for your beloved ones as if they were members of our own families. 

Contact us if you provide direct or indirect care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or a similar condition. Together, we can discuss the benefits you might find and the kind of relief available to everyone that professional caregiving can provide.

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