The new and improved version of the Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer’s takes place May 1 at Rotary Centennial Pavilion at Skaha Lake Park.
Previously held at the Cherry Lane Shopping Centre at the end of January, organizers this year have opted for the outdoor venue in hopes of more participation.
“It’s going to be very family friendly, Par-T-Perfect bouncy castle will be there,” said co-chair Angela Jorgensen. “There will be an ice cream concession and we really want it to be welcoming to young families as well because dementia affects them as well through their family members.
“Getting more people will help in raising awareness and show support to honour memories of the family members that people have lost from dementia and to support one another.”
This year’s theme is, Make Memories Matter. There will also be an information table manned by volunteers from the Alzheimer’s Society of B.C. so people can reach out to get information. According to Jorgensen, education is critical in helping people understand what dementia is all about which could in the end make a big difference in the lives of loved ones or even themselves.
“That includes important things about how to recognize symptoms and talking to someone who may be exhibiting those symptoms who are not aware of it,” she said. “I think there is a lot of misinformation out there, especially people who are being early diagnosed. Often times you are able to get an early diagnosis and you’re still able to make decisions for yourself.”
She added too often people who learn someone has dementia feel they are no longer capable of looking after themselves which is not the case with many people.
“We want to help reduce or end any stigma that’s attached to dementia,” she said. “Early diagnosis helps people take control of their lives so they know. Everyone’s journey is a little different but they can know possibly what’s in their future and make some plans around that and being involved in that decision making.”
Added co-chair Judi Feather: “Everyone will be touched by dementia, whether it’s a relative, a friend or someone in your community. You can make a difference.”
Individuals and teams are welcome at the walk and collect pledges. Any team raising over $1,000 will be entered for a draw for a $500 Best Buy gift card. Money raised goes to support programs and services in the community to help those with dementia and their families and education and public awareness.
Registration begins at 1 p.m. at the pavilion and the walk is at 2 p.m.