Alzheimer’s Walk to raise money for awareness

Alzheimer’s Walk to raise money for awarenessRIDGECREST REGIONAL HOSPITAL (RRH) — In order to achieve the lofty goals they have set for themselves this year, participants of the annual Alzheimer’s Walk have already began their efforts to meet recruitment and fundraising objectives.

“The walk will be held Oct. 22, but we have already started working toward our goals for this year — which include attracting 125 participants and raising $45,000,” said Susan Bodnar, director of RRH Senior Services.

Alzheimer’s support is just one facet of the services provided by Bodnar and her team, “I think people just don’t realize how many local people are impacted by this disease.”

In California alone, there are more than 660,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, and 1.6 million people who provide care. Bodnar said that statistics show that one-in-three senior citizens dies with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia — which means the disease kills more people that breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

The toll it takes on families is incalculable, and most caregivers do so without compensation and limited respite.

The funds raised through the walk will help fund research for treatment and a cure. They will also help provide community training for Alzheimer’s care.

Last year’s event raised more than $35,000 — with nearly $12,000 coming through sponsorships and more than $23,000 raised by walkers.

Individuals can identify their connection to the disease by the color they wear during the walk — blue for someone living with a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia, purple for those who have lost someone to the disease, yellow for someone supporting or caring for a person with Alzheimers, and orange for those working toward the vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.

“The stories relating to people dealing with Alzheimer’s are personal, and often painful,” said Bodnar. “But despite the large number impacted, the isolation sometimes dictated by dementia can make it hard for people to feel the connection and support they need.

We want people to understand the impact this disease takes on families and communities. Raising money is important, but it’s also critical that we help educate people on the risks and the services available.

Getting involved in this event is a great way to support the cause.”

For more information visit act.alz.org/ridgecrest.

Laura Austin Photo: Susan Bodnar, director of the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital Senior Services, asks the community to join in the fight to end Alzheimers.

Story First Published: 2022-04-29