Al Pridgeon was in his late forties and had worked all of his adult life. He was married, had children, and tragically an early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Because he had quit his job, Al was not eligible for disability insurance.
Al’s wife, Hilda, had gone back to work when his strange symptoms first manifested. It was a clerical job with Control Data. When the company’s Employee Advisory Resource group learned of Hilda and Al’s dilemma they contacted the company’s own law firm to help the Pridgeon’s with their disability insurance claim case.
Hilda and a few friends formed a support group, and with the help of materials supplied by the National Institute of Aging, began to hold meetings in a conference room provided by Control Data. In the fall of 1979 Control Data offered Hilda a year off, with pay and benefits, to pursue development of her social service. Before long she registered the first non-profit organization for Alzheimer’s in the United States.
Soon Hilda was fielding a surge of 25,000 inquiries from all over the U.S. wanting to know more about her organization. Fortunately, Control Data was there to help her answer the inquiries and to set up a computer-based mailing list.
For 17 years, Hilda served on the board of the Alzheimer’s Association. It is because of Control Data’s enlightened management that Hilda’s story was possible.