Alzheimer Society urging community members to lace-up for virtual fundraising walk
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
The Alzheimer Society of Canada is encouraging individuals to explore the limitless ways to move in their own way, during the month of May, and take part in this year’s virtual IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s.
“When you raise funds for the walk, you are making a positive difference by raising funds for urgently needed programs and services to help people with dementia, and the family members who care for them,” said Heidi Cote, Client Services Coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of Kenora/Rainy River Districts (ASKRRD). “Whether you are able to walk, jump, do stairs, walk around the block, what we hope is that you would move 10,000 steps throughout the month of May, in honour of each person living with Alzheimer’s disease, or with related dementia, their families and for care partners,” she added.
This year’s walk opened for participation around mid-April, and will be ongoing throughout the month of May, with a live coast-to-coast celebration broadcast scheduled to be streamed on May 30, at 4 p.m., which can be streamed on IG Wealth Management, Walk for Alzheimer’s website, at https://bit.ly/2R4aov6. This live event will allow participants to come together and show support for all those dealing with dementia, with footage from special guests, walkers, and Alzheimer Society branches across Canada. Cote encourages participants to share with the Alzheimer Society, pictures of their moves on social media with #IGWalkForALZ, or through their website. To register, or for further information regarding the walk, visit Alzheimer Society’s website at
Cote said, “Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we aren’t all able to walk together, or have a big event and barbecue, like we usually do for the walk. It is usually quite a social and amazing afternoon to spend together. But, we still hope that people will show their support for families living with dementia, and to honour the memory of those they have loved, by getting out there, doing their steps and keeping the Alzheimer Society in mind, because the idea is to move your way, and raise funds for the dementia support program.”
ASKRRD Fund Development Coordinator Shyler Hendrickson shared that similar to other organizations, they have also been facing some challenges as a result of COVID-19, stressing the importance of fundraising. He said, “A lot of our donors are caregivers for people living with dementia, individuals whose lives have been touched by the pandemic, and being in a position where we’re unable to interact with them in the social ways that we’re all accustomed to, has been fairly alienating. And I think we’ve definitely seen a decrease in donor activity because of that.” Hendrickson added that with most of their donors being over the age of 50 and 60; usually tend to be somewhat uncomfortable with donating digitally.
Cote shared that money raised by local participants will go towards materials to enhance programs and services for clients that the Alzheimer Society serves throughout the Kenora/Rainy River Districts, including the surrounding First Nations Communities. The proceeds will aim to provide iPods to clients, as part of the Alzheimer Society’s Music Project, making Activation Kits for seniors and people with dementia in isolation, as well as for program materials and brochures.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada’s website states that dementia is an umbrella term for a set of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is known to be the most common type of dementia. The website explains that Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible chronic neurodegenerative disease that affects brain cells, causing thinking ability and memory to deteriorate over time. There are currently no treatments that can reverse cognitive decline brought on by dementia. The website adds that the most effective way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is to minimize the risk factors, and make healthy lifestyle choices that benefit both body and mind.