I just discovered a great resource for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease. This group is a private Facebook group where caregivers and patients come together to support, encourage an educate each other in a private environment. The group was started by Rick Phelps after he was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease at 57 years of age. Here is a short video of Rick explaining his experiences with Alzheimer’s.
Rick Phelps is now 59 years old and lives in Coshocton County, Ohio with his wife, Phyllis June, and his family and grandchildren nearby. Rick worked in public safety for 24+ years as a law enforcement officer and an EMT for Coshocton County EMS until Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease forced him into early retirement in June of 2010.
When Rick was given this terrible diagnosis, he again saw the need for action and compassion, and took his life saving skills to a whole new level. Rick saw the need for support for all those affected by memory impairment, and he created Memory People, a support and awareness group on Facebook. That was in November of 2010. The group has now surpassed their 2,000th member.
Memory People has members from all over the world, patients and caregivers, professionals and family members, walking the journey together. Each day Memory People gathers in those who have no help and no hope, and gives them the support they need to go another day, and take another step on this rough road.
This year Rick co-wrote the song “While I Still Can” with his long time friend, Dan Mitchell. “While I Still Can” is a tribute to all those affected by dementia as it describes the love and loss that has come into his life since his diagnosis. Rick has also just celebrated the release of his book under the same title, which takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride as he describes the years as this disease crept slowly into his life.
Rick has become a strong advocate for Alzheimer’s Awareness, and he continues to change lives, one person at a time. You can find out more about Rick’s book and his Facebook page at his website http://WhileIStillCan.net