Walk will honour caregivers

The Investors Group Walk for Memories takes place Sunday at Kal Tire Place from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

Sunday’s Investors Group Walk for Memories honours the caregivers for people with dementia.

“The more you get to know about dementia, you absolutely understand how the people who have it suffer and have difficulties, but you also understand that each one has family and friends and professional caregivers who are working hard to help make their lives the best it can be,” said Andy Erickson, of Investors Group and committee member for the Vernon Walk for Memories organizing group.

“We know how important these caregivers are and what a positive difference they make  and we can’t really thank them enough or do enough to help them do their jobs.”

The Vernon walk takes place Sunday at Kal Tire Place from 9:30 to 11 a.m., with registration at 8:30 a.m. For more information see www.walkformemories.com.

Last year’s walk raised more than $15,000 in Vernon and the goal this year is $20,000.

The Investors Group Walk for Memories takes place in centres around the province with most of the money staying locally to provide support for the more the 70,000 British Columbians who have Alzheimer disease or some other form of dementia.

This includes alzheimer resource centres, a dementia helpline, regular information bulletins, tele-workshops, support groups for people in the early stages of dementia, caregiver support groups and individual support. There is early intervention available to connect individuals and their families with services and support as soon as possible after diagnosis.

Erickson, who has been involved with the Vernon walk for several years, says he is encouraged by the ongoing research for a cause and cure for Alzheimer disease, including a possible link to diabetes which could lead to new ways of prevention and treatment.

“I want to thank the Vernon committee chairperson, Ray Riva of the Grounds Guys, and committee member Diane Neudorf, of the Nurse Next Door, and everyone else who worked so hard to get things ready,” he said.

“This truly is a community event. Since it is a walk and skate we get people of all ages, including families with young children. There is a great feeling of satisfaction that we are getting somewhere with these issues, that it is not something to feel shame about or to hide away.”

A family caregiver workshop takes place in Vernon Feb. 26 and March 5 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the People Place. The cost is by donation, with pre-registration required. Call 1-800-634-3399 or e-mail cgronlund@alzheimerbc.org.

For more information about all services available in the North Okanagan, call 250-860-0305 or 1-800-634-3399. The dementia helpline number is 1-800-936-6033.