The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting Quad City area residents to join the fight to end Alzheimer’s by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® on Saturday, October 10. To register and receive the latest updates on this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit: act.alz.org/QCWalk.
The Quad Cities Walk to End Alzheimer’s continues, but instead of hosting a large gathering, the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging participants to walk as individuals or in small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails in their community. Now more than ever, funds raised through the Walk to End Alzheimer’s to support research, programs and resources for Iowans affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia is vital. Individuals living with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their caregivers and families have faced incredible challenges during the pandemic. Support groups and education resources provide much needed support for caregivers facing challenges keeping their loved ones safe and healthy during this time.
Haley Flenker, volunteer and Community Relations Consultant at Senior Star at Elmore Place, knows firsthand how important the fight to end Alzheimer’s is because she sees the effects of the disease every day in her role at Senior Star and it is prevalent in her family. “I see the impact it [Alzheimer’s and dementia] has in the assisted living and memory care communities I’ve worked in and the impact it has on families. It can be very difficult and can cause strain on relationships at home,” says Flenker “Anyway we can find a way to raise funds is great, and the money raised goes towards Alzheimer’s Association programs and resources which are so important for senior living centers and families. Families need to know they're not alone and what resources are available.”
Time-honored components of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s are being replicated. On Walk day, an Opening Ceremony will feature local speakers and a presentation of Promise Flowers to honor the personal reasons participants join together to fight Alzheimer’s and all other dementia, all delivered to participants' smartphones, tablets and computers. A small group of Alzheimer’s Association staff and volunteers will create the iconic Promise Garden in a “view only” format on Walk day at the TaxSlayer Center in Moline to honor all those impacted by Alzheimer’s.
“Alzheimer’s is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither are we,” said Megan Olsen, Development Specialist for the Alzheimer’s Association Iowa Chapter. “We must continue Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and we are working with all participants to ensure they have a powerful and moving experience that is felt when we are together. Many of our constituents are at higher risk when it comes to COVID-19 and we know that our volunteers and participants appreciate our commitment to keeping all involved healthy and safe.”
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease – the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 16 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In Iowa and Illinois alone, there are more than 296,000 people living with the disease and 723,000 caregivers.