>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

La Grande, OR forecast
& Eastern Oregon University Valley Cam

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

Today's front page

Image of The Observer's Front Page

Get Home Delivery of The Observer for only $8.50 per month, $9.50 for motor routes. Just click here and after filling out one simple and secure online form you could be on your way to learning more information about local, state and world news.

manage your account »

Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow A COMMUNITY OF CARING


TAKING A DIP: Betty Pahlisch, center, enjoys the hot tub with her daughter, Debbi Burke, right, and her caregiver, Karen Rubicam. (Submitted photo).
TAKING A DIP: Betty Pahlisch, center, enjoys the hot tub with her daughter, Debbi Burke, right, and her caregiver, Karen Rubicam. (Submitted photo).

By Alice Perry Linker

Observer Staff Writer

It takes a neighborhood to care for an Alzheimer's patient.

Debbie Burke depends upon her neighbors to watch out for her mother, Betty Pahlisch, when the older woman goes on one of her walks during the day.

"The neighbors are wonderful," Burke said. "They're very good at reorienting her."

Pahlisch, 74, has had Alzheimer's for about eight years, but has been fairly independent until recently, when her disease began to progress more rapidly, Burke said.

Poor health won't keep Pahlisch from attending Sunday's Alzheimer's Memory Walk. She'll be sitting in the pavilion at Riverside Park while her daughter walks the two-mile route. The event will begin at 2 p.m. and is open to everyone. T-shirts are available for a donation of $10 or more.

Sunday's walk is one of nine scheduled this fall to help increase awareness and raise money to benefit the Alzheimer's Association. It has been estimated that about 70,000 Oregonians suffer from Alzheimer's.

"My mother knows that she is losing her memory," Burke said. "We don't hide it."

Pahlisch is living in one half of a duplex, while Burke and her husband, Bob Bushlen, live in the other side. As the disease has progressed, Pahlisch has increasingly needed help.

Burke said that the family has made alterations to Pahlisch's home to help keep her safe, such as putting a cover on the thermostat, unplugging the range and creating speed-dial phone programs for certain


"She knows she can reach me by phone by pushing one number," Burke said.

Pahlisch's declining cognitive skills have caused her to be a prey to telemarketers, Burke said.

"We have many magazines," she said.

Other salespeople have persuaded the older woman to change long-distance telephone providers. Burke, though, has ordered a system known as a "pic" hold that blocks changes in long-distance providers.

Each morning, a care giver arrives at Pahlisch's house to spend an hour helping her get dressed and ready for breakfast. Meals on Wheels arrives at 10:30 a.m., and Burke goes home for lunch later.

When she's alone Pahlisch takes care of her Yorkshire terrier, watches TV and takes walks.

Soon, however, the 74-year-old woman will need more help, and Burke is looking at different types of assisted living or adult foster care.

Burke said that her mother "compensates well" for the memory loss, but for the daughter, "I'm terribly frustrated, terribly angry at the disease.

"Sometimes I say, ‘Why me?' "

The Alzheimer's Association has estimated that the cost of Alzheimer's nationwide exceeds $100 billion a year. Medicare and many insurance companies do not cover long-term care.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

LaGrandeObserver.com works best with the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple Safari

  • ordina viagra viagra kaufen in wien vente cialis belgique prezzo viagra viagra indien kaufen venta viagra generica prix du medicament levitra kamagra oral jelly billig effetti viagra sulle donne site canadien vente medicament viagra
    1. acheter viagra pharmacie viagra petit prix cialis generika eu viagra cialis differenze viagra rezeptfrei usa viagra senza prescrizione medica köp tadalafil viagra da 25 mg sildenafil citrato prezzo viagra svizzera ricetta