I Begin New Life as an Az Advocate

At one time, I considered becoming a lawyer. Why? I love advocating for people wronged by others…the system…inadequacies of the law, etc. But, earlier in my life, I couldn’t invest in the time requirements to realize that goal, since I was a single working mom. So, my advocacy had to wait.

Now, I hope to advocate for those affected by cognitive diseases, alerting them to how they should protect themselves and their partners for life’s possibilities.

Today, in America, the middle class is slammed by financial responsibility for their medical needs. Those who worked all their lives and saved prodigiously (by living in frugal manner) are hit with exorbitant health care bills at the end of their lives, especially if they or their partners/spouses suffer long cognitive illnesses. The two extremes of the socioeconomic spectrum are not affected similarly: The very rich easily self-pay for their needed health services and Medicaid pays for those with few to no financial resources.

Paul and I have been on this Alzheimer journey for 10 years, since his initial diagnosis. We are fortunate, for he is a veteran who meets the requirements for benefits. But that didn’t stop us from missing out, earlier, at a critical time, when I didn’t know benefits for which he did qualify. And no one told me in advance, either.

That’s why I wrote my book, “Az and Me: A Partner’s Journey with Alzheimer’s” (soon to be published) –to give you key information to help you avoid the pitfalls that snagged me.

I also intend to begin a podcast called “Az and Me” for caregivers. I hope to offer colorful shots of our life as an Alzheimer couple—the demanding…the humorous (yes, there are those)…the confounding.

So, please check in often.  Sign up for my blog posts (this is one). And definitely copy down my website address. Affix it prominently to your computer. I hope for an exchange from many of you, offering your own experiences.

My best to you all,

Colleen Kelly Mellor

#Alzheimer’s #CognitiveDisorders #AlzheimerPartners #Caregivers