17 Sep 2013 Walk To End Alzheimer’s In Seattle
With A Little Help staff and caregivers are preparing for the 2013 Walk To End Alzheimer’s, rain or shine, Saturday September 21st to help raise awareness and research money for the Alzheimer’s Association. This is the second year With A Little Help will send a team to the Walk to end alzheimers. 2013 team organizer Estee Beard recalls a sunny and inspiring walk last year as hundreds turned out. “Our hope is that we will have a lively team again this year for the walk,” Beard said.
The Walk to End Alzheimers is a national event involving tens of thousands of people whose lives are touched by Alzheimer’s and Dementia. This year, besides Seattle, walks will occur in 9 other Western and Central Washington communities. Nationwide 600 walking events will lift awareness and raise money for research and the care of people living with dementia. There’s no cost or registration fee for participating in a walk. It’s a come one come all event. All funds are generated through walker sponsorships. No one should walk alone with dementia so walkers are encouraged to come in teams but those who come individually are among many caring, concerned and supportive people. With A Little Help’s team welcomes your participation, Beard said, “Monetary donations are completely at the discretion of the participant and are not required in order to join the fun!”
Dementia research is urgently needed because the syndrome afflicts 1 in 3 older Americans nationally and over 100,000 in Washington state. Dementia diagnoses in Washington increased 33% from 2010-2012 and it’s risen to become the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancers. In fact, dementia is the only leading cause of death that can’t be prevented, slowed or cured. More than loss of memory, dementias involve the breakdown of the brain causing problems with language, autonomic cues, mobility, and overall functionality. If you’re a family member, friend, or professional caring for someone with dementia you know how futile it can feel to watch as the illness progresses and how desperately help and research is needed.
If you’re caring for someone with dementia you’re in a growing majority. More than 300,000 people provided paid and unpaid care for Washingtonians dealing with dementias in 2012. Nationally 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care were provided to family and friends struggling with dementia syndromes. Shockingly, 1 in 7 workers have or are currently juggling their employment with care and, as the illness progresses 47% of working caregivers find they have to leave, modify or change their jobs in order to continue providing care. The cost to families, workers, and our nation urgently necessitates more research and support.
Please consider joining us on Saturday September 21st at South Lake Union Park for the Seattle Walk to End Alzheimers. We’ll be there at 8:30 a.m. for the 2-3 mile walk. Need a little more persuasion? Read these beautiful stories about why people walk. We hope you’ll join us but if you’d rather simply donate we’d love your support for With A Little Help’s team. You can donate online at the secure Walk to End Alzheimers site. Under the donate box choose “find a team” and type in: With A Little Help.