A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease changes a family forever.
When that diagnosis occurs, the Alzheimer’s Association is available to provide support and services for the people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, who must deal with the disease and its impact on their lives for years to come.
Each year, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s raises awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. Several hundred people attended the first-ever Bakersfield Walk last year, and more are expected this year.
The Park at River Walk is the location once more for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, Nov. 10. Registration for the event begins at 9 a.m. and the program begins at 10. After a brief opening ceremony, the 5-K (3.2 miles) Walk begins. After the Walk, participants will be treated to lunch, entertainment and lots of fun.
Participants who raise or donate $100 earn a Walk T-shirt.
“It’s time to get really serious about ending Alzheimer’s disease,” said Rhonda Spiegel, executive director for the Alzheimer’s Association California Central Chapter. “Scientists say they are at a tipping point in Alzheimer research, which gives us all hope. Until a prevention, cure or adequate treatment can be found, the Alzheimer’s Association will give families the help they need. That’s what makes the Walk to End Alzheimer’s so very important.”
This inspiring event calls on community members of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future by walking to end Alzheimer’s, the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death. In addition to the 5K Walk, participants will enjoy music, raffle prizes and lunch, plus a special tribute to those who have experienced or are experiencing Alzheimer’s.
Taylor Smith, a Liberty High School student, baked and sold cupcakes with a photo of her grandmother on them. Her grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Dementia is a long journey. Studies indicate that people 65 and older survive an average of four to eight years after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, and some live as long as 20 years with Alzheimer’s. This indicates the slow, insidious nature of the progression of Alzheimer’s, which is always fatal.
The Alzheimer’s Association office in Bakersfield provides free help to the more than 10,000 families living in Kern County that have a loved one with dementia.
The staff in the Kern County office provides support through care specialists trained in dementia, plus access to resources and support groups, and education programs.
Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death as the populations of the United States and other countries age. While deaths from other major causes continue to experience significant declines, those from Alzheimer’s disease have continued to rise. Between 2000 and 2008, deaths attributed to Alzheimer’s disease increased 66 percent, while those attributed to the number one cause of death, heart disease, decreased 13 percent.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, California leads the nation as the most impacted state from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
The report, released in spring this year, states 5.4 million Americans and a half million Californians are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2025, those numbers will soar to 16 million Americans and 660,000 Californians unless something happens soon to stop its trajectory.
The Alzheimer’s Association urges everyone to take a stand against this disease that threatens to bankrupt the nation by participating in the 2012 Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
To sign up or for more information about the Bakersfield Walk, visit the Alzheimer’s Association California Central Chapter online at alz.org/cacentralcoast or call Lauren Franconi at 661.912.3053.
About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. 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. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org or call toll-free 800.272.3900, anytime.