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“I don’t know why they call it HopeWest, but it’s a really good name. Because there is hope. I mean, you got to have hope.”

When Ed Gonzales talks about his wife, the whole room lights up, “Jaunice is the most amazing person. She is one of those people who can do anything she sets her mind to.”

After 35 years together, Ed and his wife Jaunice have been through it all. They met while Jaunice was enrolled in Mesa State College’s radiology program. The couple moved across the country multiple times while traveling with a mobile MRI company. Retirement brought them back to Grand Junction and not long after Ed began to see changes in Jaunice.

“She was okay when we got here. She was doing really good. And then I started noticing some things about five years ago. And about a year or so after that she continued to forget things and get worse.”

The story Ed describes is one any caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s can understand. One of overwhelming uncertainty and grief, but also extraordinary compassion and love.

“I cut up her food and feed her,” Ed said. “I get up at 2:00 am to move and change her, and again at 6:00 am.”

Once enrolled in HopeWest care, Ed and Jaunice found a new quality of life.

“The HopeWest care team used to come on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And then they said, ‘Well, why don’t we just come and check you every day.’ They give me a break for an hour or so. Longer if I need it.” He said, “I also really like Dr. Straw, he’s a nice guy. He is easy to talk to. And Chaplain Scott, I love talking to him. I can’t say enough about the whole team, they have been absolutely wonderful.”

And even more important, Ed found hope with the help and support of his team.

“I don’t know why they call it HopeWest, but it’s a really good name. Because there is hope. I mean, you got to have hope.”