By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember
A short while ago, I received an email from a wonderful woman named Rosanna. Rosanna had read about PuzzlesToRemember on the Alzheimer’s Reading Room. Rosanna had been a caregiver to her husband who had Alzheimer’s. She had cared for him from 2001 until his death in 2007. In an effort to stay near to her husband and yet exercise her own mind, Rosanna worked on jigsaw puzzles every evening. In Rosanna’s words, “It was my way of relaxing and being in the same room as him.” In fact, Rosanna still continues to work on puzzles.
In her email, Rosanna said she had over 100 puzzles that she would love to donate for the use of Alzheimer’s patients, but she had no means of delivering these puzzles. Rosanna said she lived in the South Miami area. I told her I would try to see if I could arrange to have someone pick up the puzzles and deliver them to where they could be doing a lot of good.
I emailed about Rosanna to a friend of mine in New Jersey, Naomi Eisenberger, founder of the GoodPeopleFund (www.GoodPeopleFund.org). Ms. Eisenberger has helped me many times in the past, including providing advice about incorporating and about attaining federal 501c3 status. It didn’t take long for Ms. Eisenberger to come up with a great solution. Ms. Eisenberger contacted a friend of hers in Miami, Diane Schilit. Ms. Schilit and her family are great believers in community service. Ms. Schilit arranged to pick up the puzzles from Rosanna and deliver them to a representative of the Miami Jewish Health Systems.
The Miami Jewish Health Systems provides Alzheimer’s care on various levels. They have residential care, but they also have an Alzheimer’s Day Care Center. They also have “Bella’s Club” and “Lester’s Club” where early stage Alzheimer’s patients meet twice weekly for conversations and activities. The Miami Jewish Health Systems is even involved in research on medications for Alzheimer’s disease.
Because they have so many different levels of Alzheimer’s care and activities, the Miami Jewish Health Systems was very pleased to receive Rosanna’s puzzles. They are able to put them to use at several facilities representing a wide range of patient abilities.
So Rosanna’s generous puzzle donation will go on to help many, many people in the Miami area. Amazingly, Rosanna is thankful to ME, when she is the one who has given a gift that will help so many people with Alzheimer’s.
Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude Finkelstein, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER , a 501(c.)3 charitable organization. PUZZLES TO REMEMBER is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and other institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.