Nancy Abrahamson made an impact with families, caregivers and co-workers across St. Croix County in her 15 years of service. Here’s what some of them had to say.
PREVIOUSLY: Abrahamson built career on care and compassion
— I first met Nancy when I had contacted the ADRC in regards to help with my mom who was diagnosed with dementia. I did not have any experience whatsoever taking care of anybody with dementia. Nancy met with me, my mom and my siblings at my home. She was extremely knowledgeable and seemed to know the answer to everything. She helped us find funding, connect with the Day Away respite program and find help that would come into the home as well as connect with other families going through the same thing.
Nancy suggested looking back at my mom’s history to learn more about how she was behaving and that really opened my eyes. It helped me understand more the reason Mom was doing the things that she was doing. One of the books she gave me to read, "Creating Moments of Joy,” gave me ideas on how to deal with my mom.
Nancy is very knowledgeable and caring. Because of her, my journey with my mom through all this was much better than it could have been.
Candy Parent, New Richmond
— St. Croix County has been incredibly fortunate to employ Nancy Abrahamson – one of the Wisconsin’s first and (arguably) finest Dementia Care Specialists. In this role, Nancy stood beside and supported hundreds of families as they navigated a devastating diagnosis. The St. Croix Valley Foundation has been honored to work with Nancy to build the regional Dementia Friendly Communities Coalition. From traveling one-act plays about dementia to our most recent effort - the Lifelong Singers dementia friendly choir, the Coalition has increased community awareness, supported care-givers, and engaged and trained faith communities. That important work would not have been possible without Nancy’s tireless support.
On behalf of the Coalition and the Foundation, we salute Nancy for all that she did.
Angie Pilgrim, Grants and Programs Officer, St. Croix Valley Foundation
— Nancy has helped me and my husband Mike so much as we have made this journey. She helped us understand what was happening to Mike, connect to services and provided so much support along the way. I think the most important thing though was that she made Mike feel valued. We both kind of have that corporate brain that says you are valued for what you can produce. Nancy helped him see that having Alzheimer’s didn’t mean he was done. We have value beyond what we can produce. She helped him hang onto to his personhood.
Nancy also encouraged me to speak publicly about our experience in an effort to break the stigma of dementia and bring something positive out of a negative situation.
Nancy has made a monumental impact on our lives.
Darci Strutt, North Hudson
— Nancy’s experience has been very helpful to me and my family as we have dealt with my wife’s dementia. She met with us and helped us understand what the right thing to do was. She connected me to a support group and other resources that have been very helpful. I was angry at what was happening with my wife but that anger turned to empathy when Nancy explained what was happening to her.
I didn’t expect government workers to have the level of professionalism that Nancy has in helping us navigate this experience. I felt like a cork just bobbing in a stream before she reached out and helped us connect resources and people who could help.
Conrad Braun, Hudson
— Nancy is a strong advocate for people with dementia in St. Croix County, Her approach is very genuine - she listens and cares immensely. Her positive attitude is an assist to any situation she has to face with caregivers. An excellent speaker, she has been active throughout her 15 years in a variety of ways. As Caregiver Support Coordinator, she was both innovative and creative, recruiting volunteers and working with faith communities to help provide volunteers to those in need of a friendly visitor or delivering meals. She also oversaw the Adult Day Respite program and helped families make the hard decision to transition their loved one into a facility. When she took on the role of the Dementia Care Specialist over five years ago, she found herself front and center in making St. Croix County more dementia friendly. The ADRC and St. Croix County was very blessed to have Nancy as leader in the field of dementia.
Brad Beckman, ADRC Administrator