LOUISA, Va. (WRIC) — Working with Seniors is Katy Reed’s calling. After a career in dentistry for 16 years, she became an administrator at Amerisist in Louisa County in honor of her grandmother who passed away in 2000.
“She’s the reason why I do everything,” Reed says. “When she got dementia, it was very hard to watch, but at the same time it came naturally to me to know how to talk to her.”
Now Reed carries on that connection with other patients and is behind an effort for Virginia’s first #EndAlz license plate.
One thousand drivers need to commit to buying it, and $15 of the $25 annual renewal fee will go directly to the Alzheimer’s Association, which is committed to educating others.
“A lot of people don’t know about it,” says Reed. “A lot of people don’t see the early warning signs.”
The money will benefit research and support programs throughout the Commonwealth.
Reed is also hopeful the visibility of this campaign on moving vehicles will offer comfort to families coming to grips with the diagnosis.
“It’s okay to be upset,” she often tells the loved ones of patients. “It’s okay to not know how to interact with them when you’re used to them knowing you. Just be there with them, hold their hand and love them is exactly what they need right now. They’re in there somewhere, but they might not be able to express what they want. But just being there, they know.”
The #EndAlz license plate campaign still needs 398 to register by November 1, 2017 in order to have State Senator Amanda Chase present the bill to the General Assembly in January 2018.
Follow this link to learn more about the effort and to order the license plate.
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. 8News is taking the lead with the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Richmond Chapter to fight this progressive, degenerative disorder.