More than 3,000 residents of the Big Island suffer from some form of dementia, with many more exhibiting increasing forgetfulness.
The Alzheimer’s Association provides free services to the community throughout the year, including monthly support groups, counseling for family members, information and referral, in addition to regularly scheduled presentations on” What Is Dementia,” “Legal Aspects of Dementia,” “Challenging Behaviors in Dementia” and “Living With Alzheimer’s.”
The various services provided cost money but there is no cost to the family. The Alzheimer’s Association relies on various grants as well as the funds received from the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, at Prince Kuhio Plaza.
The event’s honorary co-chairs are Dr. Kevin Kurohara and Dr. Gary Johnson. Coordinators encourage teams of walkers from churches, agencies, businesses, neighborhoods and from families to sign up.
Registration will occur from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Prince Kuhio Plaza Center Court.
The actual walk will be from 10 to 11 a.m. and will include walking in the plaza, attending the School of Pharmacy Health Fair, shopping or walking outside around the plaza. At 11 a.m. there will be an awards ceremony and lottery prizes.
Some prizes are overnight accommodations at Kamuela Inn, Aqua Waikiki Pearl, Kaanapali Beach Hotel and Royal Kona Resort. In order to qualify for a prize, the participant needs to register as a walker, donate and be present to win.
Every penny collected will remain on the Island of Hawaii to help pay for gas for home visits, copies of invaluable information for the community members and phone usage.
The Alzheimer’s Association welcomes walkers to walk in memory of those who have suffered from dementia.
Who in our community has not been touched by someone who has suffered from some form of dementia or confusion, noted Chris Ridley, Alzheimer’s Association program coordinator for the Island of Hawaii, who will be walking in memory of her father. For further information, please call Ridley at 443-7360. Register online at www.alz.org/walk.