On Saturday, October 8, the Alzheimer’s Association hosted their annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s event at Marion County High School. The event was from 9:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. Alzheimer’s is a dementia related disease that causes multiple problems. Symptoms of the disease are not always obvious, but they become more apparent over time. Local residents came together to try and do their part to help end the battle against Alzheirmer’s. One resident in particular, Jim Gohlmann, does a lot with the local community and with Alzheimer’s. In a recent online post about the event he stated, “It was a windy day Saturday for our Alzheimer’s walk, but pleasant otherwise. Boy Scout Troop 5 came to the event. I was late, since my van wouldn’t start and the hatch on the hood wouldn’t release. Luckily I was able to borrow my son’s car. The Scouts and leaders were there in force and able to help out in all facets of the walk. I’m so proud of these young men. I have had the privilege of being part of Troop 5 many, many years. I was seeking donations for the event from volunteers at the food pantry, and as an older volunteer was in the middle of making a donation, this young lady was packing boxes there. She was a recent award recipient, Madison Hasnani, who had been awarded $200. Soon after, she decided to donate $50 to the Alzheimer’s Walk. Believe me, I did not request this, but this young lady, with her big heart, wanted to help. I was so happy to see that she really cared about the event, and wanted to help us win this battle against Alzheimer’s.” Madison Vincent is the Communications Manager over the Alzheimer’s Association. She stated, “Walk to End Alzheimer’s is more than a walk. It is an experience for the local community to learn about Alzheimer’s disease and how to get involved with this critical cause, from advocacy opportunities and clinical studies enrollment to support programs and services. Walk participants also honor those affected by Alzheimer’s disease with the poignant Promise Garden ceremony.” “Walk to End Alzheimer’s is held in more than 600 communities and is the world’s largest event to raise funds and awareness of Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Funds raised from the event help us continue to provide free programs and services to local families with loved ones facing Alzheimer’s disease,” according to Vincent. Monthly, the Alzheimer’s Association offers educational presentations, and support groups. The Alzheimer’s Association is one of the most recognized organizations to help end the disease in the nation. Vincent expressed, “Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.” Vincent explained that there are 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Every individual may experience one or more of these symptoms in a different degree. Here is a list of those signs: 1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. 2. Challenges in planning or solving problems. 3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work or at leisure. 4. Confusion with time or place 5. Trouble understanding visual or spatial relationships 6. New problems with words in speaking or writing 7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps 8. Decreased or poor judgement 9. Withdrawal from work or social activities 10. Changes in mood or personality “Early detection is key to improving an individual’s quality of life. It can help the individual receive possible treatments, be a part of the decision making process and enroll in possible clinical trials. We would like to thank everyone who attended the event. The event raised more than $24,000 this year.” said Vincent. If you would like to get involved with the Alzheimer’s Association or have questions about Alzheimer’s disease please call our office at 1.800.272.3900 or visit alz.org.
By Vanessa Torres, Staff Writer