GOSHEN, N.Y. (Aug. 19, 2013) – Earlier this year, author and advocate Marilynn Garzione made an invaluable donation to the Elant family. A former caregiver to her parents and husband who were afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, she generously gifted her self-playing, baby grand piano, the tool that so strongly connected her and her loved ones to one another during their journey through dementia. This fall, Garzione will return to Elant to share her story, as well as the many ways she and her husband found positive moments in navigating an otherwise difficult illness.
As part of the Elant Educational Series, Marilynn Garzione will lead the Sept. 23 program, Discovering the Hidden Gifts of Alzheimer’s, which will expand on her award-winning memoir Released to the Angels: A Caregiver’s Journey. All proceeds from books sold during the event will be donated to the Elant Foundation.
“The gratitude we feel for Marilynn’s continued generosity to Elant and its residents is beyond measure,” said Melissa McCoy, Director of Corporate Initiatives at Elant. “The donation of her time, insights and treasured memories is a true gift not only to our residents and staff, but also to the many dedicated clinical and personal caregivers who give their unwavering support day after day.”
Throughout her time as a caregiver, Garzione discovered how to connect to her husband Patrick through art and music when other forms of communication were not possible. She learned to match her piano playing to Pat’s mood, comforting his anxieties and creating an enjoyable connection for them both. In addition, painting served as a therapeutic outlet for reassurance and allowed Garzione to be a soothing presence as her husband’s needs continued to change. Ultimately, her message is geared toward finding those positive moments while caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.
“Alzheimer’s is a long, heartbreaking journey into dementia, one that my husband and I have taken together,” said Garzione. “But I have learned that, while we do not have control over the disease, we do have a choice to experience joy in spite of illness.”
The complementary program is slated to be held Monday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. in the Rhinebeck Room, located at the Glen Arden campus in Goshen. For more information and to R.S.V.P., contact Melissa McCoy at 845-360-1261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Elant Foundation
The Elant Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation, was created in 2001 as the fund raising arm of Elant, Inc. The Foundation’s mission is to garner financial resources from a variety of sources to fund initiatives that enable staff to enhance the quality of life for those who Elant serves. For more information, visit www.elant.org