Put Your Best Foot Forward in Fighting Alzheimer's By Joining A Memory Walk Near You
It's beginning to be that time of year again - the fall is the chance to lace up your walking shoes and take a step in the right direction to stop Alzheimer's. The Alzheimer's Association's Memory Walk® is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research - and it calls on volunteers of all ages to become champions in the fight against Alzheimer's. There are walks in more than 600 communities. A typical Memory Walk is a 2-3 mile walk held on a weekend morning in the fall.
Last year's walk was my first. My friend Mara and I participated in the event in Sugar Land, Texas. That walk held special significance for me - it happened about a month after Mom died. Mara also has a reason to be interested in the walk: her mother suffers from dementia.
On that sunny day, I found myself impressed with the significant number of people who were walking. Some were there because they knew someone with Alzheimer's; others cared about the cause. Still others wanted a little exercise, and found that participating allowed them to burn some calories and do some good.
Since caregiving no longer occupies a significant portion of my daily schedule, I think I'll try to field a team this year. According to the Alzheimer's Association's website, starting a team is easy. Invite three people, and they'll invite three people - and before you know it, you'll have a team. Recruit family, friends and colleagues to join your team - and ask for donations.
I hope you'll check to see where a walk is in your area. Find a friend and sign-up together. Get some folks together from work or church and form a team. If you're a caregiver, register and participate in the walk as a gift to yourself. You'll find a sense of community in seeing how many people are aware of Alzheimer's and committed to ending this terrible disease. The walk makes you realize that by just putting one foot in front of the other, you can help make a tremendous difference.