“I moved to Napa Valley two years ago to be near my son and son-in-law who live in San Francisco,” says Cynthia. It was soon after her 63rd birthday, and she had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Her son had looked around on her behalf and decided that Meadows at Napa Valley was the best place. Cynthia moved to the community sight unseen on a Saturday. By Sunday morning, she was enjoying a champagne brunch with a new group of friends.
Cynthia felt welcomed and at home right away with all the social activities, the help with housekeeping, and being able to remain independent. She doesn’t drive anymore, but gets everywhere she needs to go using the transportation services. “The hardest thing I have to do here is pick the kind of wine I want with my meal,” she says. With a positive attitude and a great sense of humor, Cynthia says, “I live each day like everybody else.”
She’s fulfilled by her work as one of ten national advisors for Alzheimer’s disease. Her job is to raise awareness. She meets with congressmen, attends policy meetings, has speaking engagements, and travels to places like Washington, D.C. and Sacramento to encourage support of Alzheimer’s initiatives. Her biggest achievement, she says, “is just making more people aware, getting information out there and translated into Spanish, and encouraging younger people to advocate for the disease.” Cynthia enjoys this sense of purpose and is committed to letting people living with memory loss know they’re not alone. Through support groups, she helps others (and herself) by talking, laughing, and focusing on the positives.