If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a kind word of encouragement, or attempts to understand a lonely person, extraordinary things begin to happen.
- Loretta Girzartis, Author
In American life, we think we are most free when we don't need anybody. Exactly what Alzheimer's represents is absolute dependency - That's what we all need to learn - how deeply we need one another.
- Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Theological Ethics
Nothing is more revealing than movement.
- Martha Graham, Dancer
I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.
- Albert Schweitzer, Missionary
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essayist
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
- William James, Philosopher
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat . . .We must find each other.
- Mother Theresa, Saint
All real living is meeting.
- Martin Buber, Philosopher
You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.
- A. A. Milne, Author (Winnie the Pooh)
They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything.
- Bil Keane, Cartoonist
Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.
- Christopher Columbus, Explorer
A good traveler is one who does not know where he is going to, and a perfect traveler does not know where he came from.
- Lin Yutang, Writer
Memory Bridge Newsletter
10/10/08 - Innovative Programming: Without Warning
Without Warning™, a program of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center in Chicago, provides support and fellowship for people with early-onset Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. The group began in 2004 and has grown to about thirty-five families since its inception.
Without Warning began when a patient at the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center advocated for its founding after he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in his early 50s. He felt out of place in traditional Alzheimer's support groups because he faced different challenges than people 20 and 30 years older than he. The name Without Warning came from a woman living with early onset. She said the illness came to her "without warning." Early-onset Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a diagnosis before the age of 65.
The group aims to address the sense of isolation often felt by people with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Many feel their identity has been lost or significantly altered by memory loss and its accompanying life changes. In addition to providing group support and creating a community, Without Warning connects participants to other programs and society at large. Among other activities, the group has sponsored a picnic for families, joined the Alzheimer's Association's Chicago Memory Walk, and held annual fundraising galas. Each semester, Memory Bridge invites people from Without Warning to speak to our students about living with memory loss.
Without Warning's sister group, Sin Aviso™, offers a similar support system for Spanish speakers. Sin Aviso, which means "without warning" in Spanish, began meeting this summer. While smaller in size than Without Warning, Sin Aviso provides a growing community and support to Spanish speakers in their native, conversational language.
Each group meets once a month and is facilitated by staff from the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center. After a time for coffee and conversation, caregivers and those living with Alzheimer's disease break into small groups. In each group, attendees share about their journey, struggles, and joys. Caregivers often discuss resources and research advances as well.
Both groups are open to people with early-onset Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers regardless of hospital or doctor affiliation; however, pre-screening is required. For more information about Without Warning, please contact Susan Frick, MSW, at Susan_Frick@rush.edu. For more information about Sin Aviso, please contact Nieves Lopez-Barrera at Nieves_Barrera@rush.edu.