Angela Leonardi’s husband, Benjamin, suffered slowly from dementia after he began having mini-strokes in 2008. “He became quiet and didn’t participate with his family,” the Malverne resident said as she wiped away a tear. “He had a premonition that he would get dementia because his aunts, uncles and mother suffered from it.”
Leonardi began bringing Benjamin to ‘The Club’ a month ago. “It’s given me time to do things,” she said.
Grimm said the staff at “The Club” are warm, welcoming and caring, and give her husband the social interaction he needs. “They’re so happy to be doing what they’re doing and it’s amazing,” she said. “The participants feel that and they leave here smiling.”
Nordlund said she knows she’s made a difference when participants thank her and leave the program with a smile on their face. “We get creative and come up with fun ways for them to enjoy themselves,” she said. “I feel like if we reach one of them, we’re still able to communicate with them.”
In the future, Leonardi, Crowley and Grimm hope “The Club” continues to receive the necessary resources to continue. “Social life is so important and without a place like this, it’s difficult,” Grimm said. “Your life changes completely.”