Alzheimer's Association honors News 12 Connecticut's Frank Recchia

News 12 Connecticut's Frank Recchia was honored with the 2020 Extraordinary Caregiver's Award by the Alzheimer's Association after caring for his 84-year-old mother who had the disease.
Friday would have been Patsy Recchia's 85th birthday, and Recchia says he is honored to accept the award.
"Being recognized by the Alzheimer's Association as an extraordinary caregiver is a great honor for me because it validates the life I chose to live for so many years, caring for my mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014," says Recchia.
Recchia says it became very difficult at the end because his mother needed more and more care as her condition declined, and it was exhausting but he did it because the whole thing was a labor of love.
"This past summer, my mother became very sick. She had a sudden and serious decline, and she had to go into the hospital."
Recchia says he realized something as his mother got sicker and more frail. "There's no choice here," he says. "You're going to have to let her go."
After the hospital, she was at the Jewish Home for a few weeks.
He says as wonderful as the hospice care is at the Jewish Home, he still wasn't comfortable with her not being at home with him.
Susan Shultz of the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut says Recchia was very patient with his mother and calm.
"He seemed to have the ability to anticipate her needs before she even expressed them," Shultz says.
"It made me feel so good knowing that I brought Mommy home, where she could be in the room where she has slept every night for 50 years surrounded by me, my sister Alexandra and Ven, who was this wonderful caregiver," Recchia says.
"He can feel good about being a devoted loving son who gave his mother the best care that she could have had through her final days," Shultz says.
"By giving me their most prestigious caregiver's award, the Alzheimer's Association has really made me feel that I was the best son to my mother that a man could possibly be," Recchia says.