Gloria Romero Roses, a resident of Miami-Dade County, is on a mission to raise funds to support research for a cure for Alzheimer’s, as well as assistance to those living with the disease and other forms of dementia. Having experienced the trials of dementia firsthand as a caregiver to her mother, she aspires to spread more awareness of the disease and aims to empower others to take their first step towards making a difference.
Her journey first started around 2009, when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Gloria described herself and her mother as the “dynamic duo.” Her mother, a former nurse, has always been strong-willed and independent. She first started showing signs of Alzheimer’s within her daily routines. Over time, Gloria slowly began to notice small or simple tasks were becoming more difficult for her mother. A couple more serious issues surfaced, like a small car accident and her mother getting lost in her own backyard, and from then on, Gloria wanted to ensure that her mother was in the right setting and safe environment. She searched for an assisted living center that she felt comfortable with, taking care to find a place where her mother fit in well.
Gloria explained the hardest part of being a caregiver was the struggle to be there for both her mother and her teenage daughter at the same time, though she had strong support from both her husband and daughter. Gloria went above and beyond to provide her mother the care she needed though credited the assisted living center for their great help with their journey. Gloria furthered her endeavors by owning and operating an assisted living center, Indian Oaks Living Center. While operating the business, she became aware of unfortunate reality that many others go through similar situations of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia alone. She found that many do not have the support of friends and family or struggle with a distance barrier.
Gloria said the most rewarding part of her journey was being able to help and be present through her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s. For others with loved ones diagnosed with dementia, her advice was to focus on just being present for them. She also encouraged others to take part of resources like the Alzheimer’s Association’s Brain Bus and the 10 Ways to Love Your Brain, as well as the many other virtual programs that have become available during the pandemic.
Gloria’s experience with Alzheimer’s also led to her participation in Alzheimer’s Association fundraising events like The Longest Day, for which she is currently raising funds by exploring the bike trails of Miami-Dade County, where her mother lived her final years. Supporters can sponsor her ride with a donation or join her team by riding alongside her physically or virtually on a Peloton or treadmill. For more information, visit act.alz.org/goto/CycleToEndALZ.