About the "No Longer Me" Series
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More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States; 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia.

It discriminates against no one and touches everyone.

Beginning March 30, the Observer-Reporter launched a yearlong initiative, “No Longer Me,” to bring awareness to this incurable disease that strips the life and dignity from its victims. The initial installment introduced readers to Alzheimer's and dementia, and local families who are coping with it. In April, the series explained what a diagnosis means, and steps a family should take to ensure that a loved one's medical, financial and emotional needs are being met as the disease progresses. Subsequent installments examine options for care; resources and support available for caregivers; treatments, and research. As part of the series, we are chronicling the progression of the disease in several local Alzheimer and dementia patients whose families have generously welcomed our reporters, photographers and videographers into their homes to share personal details of their lives with our readers.

As part of the series, the newspaper invites readers to donate to funds established at the Washington County Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Greene County. At the end of the year, the money will be disbursed to two organizations: Area Agency on Aging will use its share of the proceeds to fund “wishes” to families of Alzheimer's and dementia patients, while the Alzheimer's Association will use the money to fund caregiver education programs in the newspaper's two-county circulation area. It is the express wish of the Observer-Reporter that all money raised benefit local residents.

A benefit purse auction organized by a committee of newspaper employees from all departments will be held Nov. 7 at The Meadows Casino to raise money for the “No Longer Me” fund. The event was held last year in conjunction with the newspaper's homeless series and raised more than $10,000.

As a newspaper whose owners have been part of the fabric of the community for several generations, it is important to be an active participant in issues that define our readership.