HUDSON, Ohio (WKBN) – A man from Strongsville is turning his love for his wife and his dedication to her care into a gift that will help others.
Jan Castora has donated $1 million to the Greater East Ohio Area Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to establish a caregiver fund that will be used to provide care for those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
When Castora’s wife Josephine was battling a form of dementia, all he could think about was keeping her in their home “for her comfort, for her safety and for her dignity.”
He would get her up in the morning, help her get dressed, cook breakfast and help her with her hygiene. But he soon realized that he needed help. Over time, Mrs. Castora lost her ability to speak. She also lost control of her hands, arms and legs. At first, she could balance on her legs with help. Then because she couldn’t walk, someone would have to pick her up from her wheelchair to where she needed to go.
Castora ended up hiring a couple of ladies who would help him with his wife. He said it was a lifesaver.
“There is nothing more challenging than the sacrifices you have to make to provide care for a loved one,” Castora said. “You have to give up your life and it is a tremendous sacrifice…The stress, the helplessness, the care does not change tomorrow. It doesn’t get better. You have nothing encouraging to look forward to. It’s very depressing,” he said.
Josephine Castora died on Oct. 7, 2019.
Castora’s $1 million donation in Josephine’s name was used to create The Jan & Josephine Castora Family Caregiver Relief Program.
The following counties are eligible for the program:
The caregiver relief program is for caregivers who currently do not have paid help. To find out about eligibility requirements, go to alz.org/eastohio/carerelief or call 216-206-8389.