My Journey as an Alzheimer’s Association® Volunteer

By Usha Tewari

State Representative Scott Plakon speaks at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Orlando about his experience as an Alzheimer’s caregiver in 20017.

My volunteer journey with the Alzheimer’s Association Central and North Florida Chapter began in October 2017 during the Walk to End Alzheimer’s® in Orlando. My mom was diagnosed with this dreaded disease and I was afraid to “Google” what to expect during the various stages. I attended the walk alone and sat in the audience listening to the opening ceremonies and speeches. State Representative Scott Plakon’s speech struck a chord with me because I was a caregiver, like him, to my mom and, like him, working in government. It was at that moment I was determined to make a difference advocating for this disease and use my knowledge of government to create a grassroots momentum.

Usha Tewari at the 2021 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Orlando.

From that day on it was my personal mission to educate someone in my inner circle about Alzeimer’s disease, other dementias and caregiving challenges even while working full-time. If my inner circle is better informed, then that knowledge will be shared with others and create a ripple of awareness. 

The time I have devoted as a volunteer has not only increased Alzheiemer’s awareness, but also allowed me to grow stronger as an individual fighting for this cause and to meet fellow dedicated fighters. Volunteers are the lifeline for organizations, but for those impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias, especially caregivers, volunteering is that spark that keeps us going. 

About Usha Tewari

Usha Tewari meets with U.S. Congresswoman Val Demings in Washington, D.C. during the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement Advocacy Forum in 2019.

As an advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association, Usha engages public officials and policymakers in a variety of ways, urging their support for critical Alzheimer’s legislation and policy changes. Usha has served as the Alzheimer’s Ambassador to Congresswoman Val Demings for several years.

Usah Tewari, Alzheimer’s advocate, and Evan Holler, senior public policy manager in Florida, pose in front of the Old State Capitol for the Purple LIghting Ceremony in 2020.

During her time as an advocate on the state level, there have been several important advancements in Alzheimer’s state policy including increased funding in dementia research and research care, funding of the statewide Brain Bus program initiative, the appointment of a statewide dementia director and, most recently, the passage of the READY Act, a public health awareness campaign focused on health care providers.

Usha Tewari, in a teal Walk Committee shirt in the second row, at the Start Line for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in 2019.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s comittee members motivate their communities to join them in raising important funds and awareness to end Alzheimer’s. Usha has served on the committee in several positions including as co-chair of the event in both 2020 and 2021.

1 Comment

  1. I am a caregiver and each clients issues are so different thanks for info and testimony –I am a;so learning to detect possibility the disease at a senior center in visitors where I work, also

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