You've heard of Tuesday's with Maury? Well for Chuck Nahorniak, its Tuesday's with George.
That's George, George Winkelmaier. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease five years ago, you may not know it as these two play a gentlemen's game of pool.
George sometimes asks if he's solids or stripes, but these days he never forgets his appointment with Chuck...a volunteer with the Alzheimer's association. He says his time with Chuck is different than what he does the rest of the week. " I go walking down to the river with my dog." When asked is the time with Chuck is better or about the same George says, "Better."
George is just one of a handful of Alzheimer's patients Chuck spends time with every week, they could play pool, bowl, go to meetings or just sit around and talk. George's wife Joan says Chuck has helped her husband rise above a depression she could not help George shake.
"He needed a friend and that's what he got when he got Chuck."
Krista Scheel from the Alzheimer's Association says Chuck truly is one in a milion." He's a natural. I mean he really gets working with people with this disease."
For his part Chuck says his time with these patients make him feel special-- like he is making a true connection with someone. " I've turned from a volunteer into a family member. I mean that's probably the greatest thing I've gotten out of it. First time you are a volunteer the second time you pick them up you are part of the family. "
Is this type of volunteer work for everyone...no, Scheel says she's lucky to have Chuck on board, but those who have patience, empathy, and acceptance may want to consider becoming a volunteer at the Alzheimer's Association. For Chuck becoming a part of these people's lives is more rewarding than any paycheck.
If you are interested in becoming an Alzheimer's Association volunteer, you can call 775-786-8061.