Often times I am asked why I work for the Alzheimer’s Association. My rationale for taking a step out of managed healthcare and into the non-profit world comes down to one word: passion. All of us thrive in environments where we not only have the skill set, but also the passion to get the job done. In working for the Alzheimer’s Association Georgia Chapter, I have the opportunity to live out my “Purple Passion” each day.
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor but it is not my academic training that helps me relate and live out my purple passion. My passion comes from understanding firsthand the battle against Alzheimer’s, because I have been a caregiver. My two grandfathers battled this horrid disease and unfortunately lost. I want to use what I have learned through my experience to help others. When I take calls on our 24/7 helpline I can relate to those combating the disease, and specifically the caregivers who offer comfort and compassion to their loved ones.
I sometimes fear that people who reach out to the Association via the helpline and through our programs and services believe as employees we are here to simply fill a position. The staff at the Association will often tell others that we are all one person away from knowing someone with the disease, knowing a caregiver, or losing someone to the disease. Each of us has been impacted by Alzheimer’s in some way. As employees we bring our passion to work every day with the hope of making a difference in the lives of all those affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
It is Alzheimer’s Walk season and I know no better way to express my purple passion than to walk in memory of my grandfathers, alongside other caregivers and those battling the disease. Not only is the Alzheimer’s Association vision one that I believe in: “A world without Alzheimer’s;” but the mission is something I can get behind as well: “To eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.” Please join us in our Walk to End Alzheimer’s and live out your purple passion with me.
Lucretia Smith is a Licensed Professional Counselor and works at the Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter. She is a Helpline Support Manager, Care Consultant and has been with the Alzheimer’s Association for one year…and counting!