Purple is the color used in association with Alzheimer’s disease. This morning, LaGrange’s town square was festooned with purple to help generate awareness of this disease and to promote the 2012 Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Individuals from many of the local health care organizations were on hand to get the job done. Susan Burdick, executive director of Vernon Woods Retirement Community, Paige Cason of Home Helpers, Josh O’Neal of West Georgia Health System, Becky Bryan and Christi Howard of Compassionate Care Giving, and Linda Mason Barber, a registered nurse and assistant professor at Georgia Baptist College of Mercer University, all were eager to work to get the word out about this devastating disease and this year’s walk.
Alzheimer’s is responsible for much more than just memory lost. Symptoms of the disease increase over time until a person with the disease has major personality changes, loses the ability to communicate, loses control over normal bodily functions and finally dies. There is no cure for this disease and it is not part of the normal aging process.
The walk this year will take place at the Vernon Woods Retirement Community.
“I am real excited because this is our third annual walk and it is getting bigger and bigger each year,” said Burdick.
Barber, whose mother suffers from mild dementia and whose cousin is debilitated with Alzheimer’s, said the disease is widespread among the population.
“Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that is progressive and affects many in our aging population. One person every 68 seconds is diagnosed with having Alzheimer’s Disease,” she said. “By decorating this area in purple we are trying to raise community awareness. This disease affects both the individuals and their families.”
Barber said that funds raised from next weekend’s 2012 Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be used to help fund local programs that assist the families and caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients in Troup County. She said local help lines and support groups are valuable for the families and caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. A family’s burden may be lessened when they can obtain help and information concerning this disease.
The LaGrange 2012 Walk to End Alzheimer’s starts 9 a.m. Sept. 22. Walkers may participate as individuals or may be part of a team. The walk will be about two miles long and will take place on the Vernon Woods Retirement Community’s grounds.
Information on the awareness walk at Vernon Woods is available at www.alz.org/walk or by calling Christina Vogler, the district’s event coordinator, at 706-327-6838, ext. 5532.
More information concerning Alzheimer’s Disease is available at www.alz.org/georgia and www.alzheimers.gov. The Alzheimer’s Association has a 24-hour help line at 1-800-272-3900.