Thursday, 26 April 2018 18:55

Volunteers helping families affected by Alzheimer's Featured

Written by 
Volunteers helping families affected by Alzheimer's

BAR HARBOR - Alzheimer's can affect many loved ones, and taking care of someone who has Alzheimer's or dementia is a job in itself.


Employees of the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor are volunteering their time to make the lives of families affected by the disease a little easier.


Each year the Jackson laboratory identifies a disease that affects residents in the state of Maine.


Surgical technologist Kae Perro said, "With this particular program it was an outside project. It was to help families do a little clean up after the winter."


Volunteers from Jackson laboratory loved seeing the reaction of the families and taking that burden of cleaning up off their plate.


"We didn't just give them that one hour or a half a day we gave them a season, a year, but we gave them something that they'll always appreciate," said Perro.


Animal care trainee Haley Adams said, "Cause now they don't have to go out and clean everything she can just start to plant things in her garden once she feels like it."


The goal is to make Bar Harbor and Ellsworth a dementia friendly community, but one associate professor at the Jackson lab said one of the challenges of studying Alzheimer's is that it is so complex.


Gareth Howell, associate professor at the Jackson lab said, "So multiple factors that go together in order to increase risk. So here at Jacks what we're trying to do is to tease apart those individual factors to be able to determine whether an individual is more or less at risk of developing Alzheimer's."


It took the volunteers about an hour to clean up the yard, and Perro said that's only a small piece of what an act of kindness can do.


"And we weren't trying to do their job we were just trying to ease into it because a lot of people enjoy gardening and the cleaning up," said Perro.


"Just being able to get out there a beautiful day and just help someone it's the greatest feeling," said Adams.


Shonna Narine

[email protected]

Shonna Narine joined the ABC7 and FOX22 team in August 2017. Originally from Long Island (although she hides her accent for TV) she's excited to see what Maine has to offer.

She graduated from Five Towns College in Dix Hills Long Island where she anchored for their TV Club, and had her own radio show called "All Access Entertainment."

She won an outstanding achievement award and graduated on the dean's list.

Prior to graduation Shonna interned at News12 Long Island.

Shonna comes from a big family. With three older sisters, her parents, and six nieces and nephews there's never a dull moment when she's around them. When she's not working she enjoys working out, dancing, spending time with her fiance, and planning her wedding! Shonna would love to hear if you have any story ideas. You can email her at [email protected].