DAYTON — Participants in this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be able to physically join forces to recreate the driving movement and energy that fuels the fight to end Alzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter will host five Walk to End Alzheimer’s events in the region and all will take place in person. The Association is inviting area residents to join the fight by signing up as a team captain, joining a team or registering to walk as an individual at alz.org/walk.
Karen Carter, vice president of development for the Miami Valley Alzheimer’s Association, said the Chapter decided to move forward with plans to host the 2021 Walk to End Alzheimer’s because meeting in-person provides an exceptionally moving experience that can be accomplished as COVID restrictions loosen.
“The health and safety of participants, staff and volunteers remain the Chapter’s top priority. As we make decisions about event details, we will also continue to offer options to participate online and in your neighborhood,” Carter said.
Over the last two years, Miami Valley residents have contributed $1.1M providing funding for Alzheimer’s care and support for local families and for research. In the Miami Valley, 30,000 people live with the fatal progressive brain disease and 100,000 family and friends care for them.
The dates for this year’s Walks are:
• Miami County Walk to End Alzheimer’s: Sept. 18
• Shelby County Walk to End Alzheimer’s: Sept. 25
• Darke County Walk to End Alzheimer’s: Sept. 25
• The Springfield/Urbana Walk to End Alzheimer’s: Oct. 2
• Dayton Walk to End Alzheimer’s: Oct. 9
On Walk day, participants will honor those affected by Alzheimer’s with the poignant Promise Garden ceremony — a mission-focused experience that signifies solidarity in the fight against the disease. The colors of the Promise Garden flowers represent people’s connection to Alzheimer’s — their personal reasons to end the disease.
Last year 1,889 more people with dementia died in Ohio than expected because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition, the pandemic placed additional stress on caregivers who for months could not see their loved ones in long-term care or could not utilize services like in-home aides and adult-day care services for fear of their loved one contracting COVID.
“This year has been extremely stressful for all and that’s why our efforts to raise money for care and support for local families are so critical,” Carter said. “This Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be extra special because we now have a treatment for Alzheimer’s and we can come together to help each other.”
Participants are encouraged to download the Walk to End Alzheimer’s mobile app to make their experience easier. Also, the FAQ page on alz.org/walk will be updated regularly for details on the Walk-day experience.
More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – a leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 11 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which helps all affected, is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.