Navigating Alzheimer’s

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TOLONO — It’s only been a couple months since one woman’s father died after fighting Alzheimer’s, but it still has not sunk in. Now she’s made it her mission to help other families cope with the disease. She’s our very own Heather Roberts, from ciLiving. She wants to reach more than just our central Illinois viewers with a new blog.

She called it “Navigating Alzheimer’s,” because life with Alzheimer’s is kind of like being on the open water. There are days you’re cruising or it’s smooth sailing, but the ocean can also turn dangerous and scary. Heather’s seen all that in the last few years and now she wants to share it with you.

Parents aren’t supposed to have favorite kids, but Geren Roberts may have made an exception.

“When you’re the homecoming queen and you don’t have a date, it’s kind of sad,” said Heather. “So who takes you out to Jumer’s in the big castle for dinner but your dad. We were very tight.”

He was also Heather’s coach and confidante, a financial advisor by trade and believer at heart.

“That was his goal, to make sure we knew God and we all were going to go together to heaven someday,” said Heather.

Heather started noticing early signs of Alzheimer’s a few years ago. They only got worse.

“He was always my dad,” said Heather. “And I knew he was always in there, even when things were starting to slip. You just kind of feel helpless, like there’s nothing you can do.”

They did all they could to love and support him as he battled the disease, but Geren died in December. After that, Heather decided she wanted to help other families who were going through similar situations.  

“I want this blog to be a life preserver,” said Heather. “I want it to be what I can throw out to other people who are going through this awful disease.”

She’s collecting his stories to talk about his life, in hopes of better understanding his death.

“It’s been good, but at the same time, it’s been bittersweet, because it just makes me miss him that much more,” said Heather.

Heather has big dreams for this blog, including a special event on the longest day of the year, June 21. Stay tuned to find out more about that. To check out her blog, click here.

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