Shelly Wemhoener, 53, experienced first-hand how the strong bonds between mother and child can suddenly be turned upside down in the face of Alzheimer's. She became a fulltime caregiver to her mother who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, reversing the traditional mother/daughter roles.
A shell of her former self, Shelly's mother lost 30 pounds, struggled with her finances and could no longer handle even the most minor changes in routine, such as encountering a detour on her way to the dining commons in her apartment community.
In addition to caring for her mother, Shelly also needed to be a mother to her young daughter. Being part of the sandwich generation, she struggled to maintain the delicate balance of being a compassionate caregiver to her mom and dedicating herself to her own family. Often times, she found herself racing to the car with a shopping cart full of groceries for her mother in the hope that she could unload them quickly and still make it to the show-and-tell event at her daughter's school.
Shelly does not want her daughter to experience what she is currently going through with her mother and hopes that we can find a way to end this terrible disease. Because of this hope, she joined the Alzheimer's Prevention Registry to become part of a movement of people who want to move this new era of Alzheimer's research forward.