The end of Alzheimer’s starts with you

Published 11:12 am Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Chapter’s first Memory Walk of the season will be on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Constants Wharf, 100 E. Constance Road, Suffolk.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s research, care and support.

“The growing Alzheimer’s crisis is having both a human and financial toll. Within the next 10 years, 19 states, including Virginia, will see a 40 percent or greater growth in the number of people with the disease. In 2015, the direct care costs of caring for those with Alzheimer’s will total an estimated $226 billion, with half of the costs borne by Medicare,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association Summer 2015 catalog.

Further, only 45 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease or their caregivers report being told of their diagnosis and more than 90 percent of people with the four most common types of cancer have been told of their diagnosis.

The Alzheimer’s Association has also put out a “Call to Congress” brochure in hopes of getting their attention by providing information of how serious this disease is and how much it is progressing.

The brochure says, “One in eight Americans aged 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease — and another American develops Alzheimer’s every 69 seconds. With the aging of the baby boomers, this number will only escalate in the future unless we act to stop Alzheimer’s now. An estimated 5.4 million Americans, including up to 200,000 people under age 65, have Alzheimer’s disease. It is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.”

The association is requesting that Congress increase the commitment to Alzheimer’s research, expand diagnosis and care planning and develop a coordinated strategic plan to address Alzheimer’s disease.

“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,” said Mary Frances Newsome, a member of both the Western Tidewater community and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Last year $680,000 was raised from the six chapter-hosted Walk To End Alzheimer’s events. Two locals in the area, Leah-Beth Williams and Margaret Cobb were among the 75 Grand Champion individual fundraisers for 2014. This walk is to help raise money for care, support and research for Alzheimer’s disease.

A number of locals from Franklin and Southampton will walk on a team on Sept. 19 called MEMORY MOVERS. Team leader is Leah-Beth Williams. Other members at this time include Newsome, Margaret Cobb, Diane Tobin and Joy Cartwright Burton.

If anyone is interested in joining their team or making a donation to them, please call Newsome at 569-0604 or 630-8102. You may also go to the website for information or contact the chapter office at 459-2405. Donations and applications are due by Sunday, Sept. 13.