About 6 or 7 years ago my husband Tony and I enrolled in a longitudinal study from University of California San Diego, Alzheimers Disease Research Center (ADRC), that had been going on for over 35 years. Our thoughts were that we needed to do something to help bring this terrible disease to an end.  When we started we had to spend 2 full days at their center with medical and memory testing and let them take some spinal fluid from each of us as well as a blood sample. We also had to agree to let them have our brain to study after we passed away. Our son-in-law thought we were crazy to do all this.  We just wanted to help in any way that we could. My mother died from Alzheimers Disease. 

Each year since we started, we have spent a full day at their center again with medical and memory testing.  It really is gruelling. 

Today I opened our mail to find a birthday card addressed to my husband Tony.  Inside along with the good wishes were the signatures of 25 staff members with many happy faces included.  It brought such a smile to my husband’s face and mine as well!  All of those people cared about him.  Someone on the staff took it upon themselves to get this started and follow it up until it was mailed to us. What a dear, sweet thing to do.  It made a real difference to both of us.

I feel so bonded to this center.  They are all doing all they can do to find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.  Getting people like us to continue doing this each and every year until we die gives them important information to study. Receiving that sweet card certainly solidified our relationship with all of them.

Try to think of little things like that to let your patients know how much you care about them. Really care about your patients! Look at them when they talk to you! Smile when you are on the phone with them. Make sure that they are comfortable in the office. Spend a staff meeting just talking about the many ways you can let the patients know how much you care.  Then take action and put these ideas into place.

Then watch your case acceptance numbers go up and up!