Alzheimer's Walk set

Shown here are (front row, from left) Tammy Walker, BSW field education director; Lexi Stafford; Kira Caiza; (second row, from left) Leah Hall, Linda Garza, BSW program director; (third row, from left) Emily Crowden, Mattie Steele and Savannah Solomon.

An Alzheimer’s Awareness Event and Walk is set for Oct. 22 beginning at 11 a.m.

Student speakers will open the event with a convocation titled “The Reality of Alzheimer’s Disease” from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Townsend Auditorium at Tennessee Wesleyan University. Masking and social distancing is required to attend the event, according to TWU COVID policy.

The event is being co-sponsored by The Luncheon Pilot Club, the Social Work Club and Phi Alpha Honor Society, and Sigma Kappa Sorority.

At 11:30 a.m., participants are invited to take part in a walk around the perimeter of the campus to raise awareness. The walk will end at Wallace Square in front of Sherman Hall for light refreshments donated by Mayfield Dairy.

There will also be time for informal discussions regarding any questions participants may have regarding Alzheimer’s. This is the seventh year for the event and everyone is welcome.

As the population ages, Alzheimer’s and dementia is expected to become more prevalent. An estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages were living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2019.

One in 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s dementia. The percentage of people with Alzheimer’s dementia increases with age: 3% of people age 65-74, 17% of people age 75-84, and 32% of people age 85 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia, according to 2019 “Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures,” a statistical resource for U.S. data from the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Raising awareness regarding Alzheimer’s and Dementia is so important,” Luncheon Pilot Club member Mary Lou Flatt said. “The mission of Pilot International is to improve the quality of life for people who are brain related survivors and/or live with another brain related disorder or disability. We want those individuals and families dealing with these tragic diseases to have a better quality of life.”

“We as a society need to become educated to learn how best to help families and loved ones dealing with Alzheimer’ dementia,” Linda Garza, social work program director and facilitator for the McMinn Meigs Alzheimer’s Support Groups added.

The McMinn Meigs Alzheimer’s Support Group is currently meeting online the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. to provide education and support for caregivers and anyone else who wants to learn more about Alzheimer’s and how they can be a better support for those dealing with Alzheimer’s.

“It is a safe place that provides confidential listening so you can ask the hard questions,” said Garza.

For more information about the event or support group, contact Garza at 423-746-5212 or email acg@adwade.fastmail.fm to be added to the online meeting.

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