TRURO, N.S. – Beckey Langille sees people with dementia every day at work, and her desire to help led her to be one of the first to sign up for the Truro Walk for Alzheimer’s.
“I think it’s important to provide support whenever I can,” she said. “A lot of people I know are affected. I work at a seniors clinic and we’re putting in a team called the Holy Walk-a-Molies.”
She ran the Bluenose Half Marathon, raising money for the Alzheimer Society, in the past. When she heard about the Truro walk she not only signed up to walk, she joined the local organizing committee.
“I think it’s great to have this in Truro so I hope there’s a good turnout,” she said. “If people want to be involved but aren’t able to walk, we need volunteers and donations.”
Walks have been held in Halifax and Sydney for several years, and the first one in Wolfville took place last May.
“This is the biggest fundraiser we hold, but it’s also about being visible,” said Sarah Lyon, director of philanthropy with the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia. “When we looked at the participants coming to the Halifax walk we saw a lot were coming from Cumberland and Colchester Counties so we felt it would be nice if there was a closer walk.”
The walk will take place on Sunday, May 7, beginning at the Truro Farmers’ Market. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. and the walkers head out at 2 p.m. There is a 5K route but people don’t need to walk the entire distance.
People are encouraged to go online to register and get pledge forms. They can also do online fundraising.
The Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia provides support for those affected by any type of dementia and Langille has helped facilitate both their Family Caregiver and Shaping the Journey series.
“Dementia is an individual journey for those who are affected,” she said. “One person’s journey with the disease isn’t the same as another person’s and there are different needs.”
There are approximately 17,000 Nova Scotians with dementia.
For more information visit http://support.alzheimer.ca
Alzheimer’s disease is most often seen in people over 65, but sometimes affects people in their 40s and 50s.
It is a degenerative disease of the brain, where brain cells continue to die over time. There is no cure and eventually the body shuts down.
Dementia is an overall term for a set of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain. Symptoms may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking or language, severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. There may also be changes in mood and/or behaviour.
Dementia is not a specific disease. Many diseases can cause dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
From the Alzheimer Society of Canada