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Support for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is still strong despite COVID-19

“The community has been beyond supportive it’s been amazing to see.”
Alzheimer's is a growing threat to our senior community and the Alzheimer's Association  is working to help find a cure.
Alzheimer's is a growing threat to our senior community and the Alzheimer's Association is working to help find a cure.(KMVT)
Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 12:14 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Alzheimer’s is a growing disease that has far reaching impacts. Currently there are 27,000 Idahoans 65 years old and older with Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to 33,000 by 2025.

“If a person lives to be 85, half of the people who hit 85 will have Alzheimer’s disease,” said Shawna Wasko, program manager at the Office on Aging.

While the number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease continues to increase, talk about the disease seems to be taboo. That’s why the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Idaho believes the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is such an important event to help bring attention to it.

“We’re doing well‚" said Alix Hilton, walk manager for the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Idaho. “We still need support, the community has been beyond supportive it’s been amazing to see. It’s such an interesting year, but it’s great to see people are still passionate and still driving that mission forward of a world without Alzheimer’s.”

This year’s Magic Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be done virtually on Sept. 19.

And while the walk will be a little different this year, it’s more important now than ever to bring the disease to the attention of others. Wasko says that many suffering are doing so alone.

“We know that for our senior centers that 40% of their home delivered meals clients are widowed women who live alone who have Alzheimer’s,” Wasko said.

And while the senior centers do their best to keep an eye on those women who suffer Alzheimer’s alone in their home, caregivers are always needed as the cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementias is an estimated total of $305 billion and $25,000 per person.

And while 2020 has been a year like no other, the Alzheimer’s Association is still striving to provide help for this disease with no cure.

“We right where we expected to be," Hilton said. “We have a goal of $70,000 and we are about $40,000 of the way there, so we’re definitely still pushing for those fundraising dollars.”

This year, the Walk to end Alzheimer’s itself will be virtual, participants can download an app once signed up and it will track their walk where they are so they can practice social distancing while still supporting the efforts.

On the day of the walk, organizers will have a virtual opening ceremony at 11 a.m. and the walk starting at 11:30. A view-only, pre-planted promise garden will be set up at the College of Southern Idaho where people can drive through and view it starting at 9 a.m. and its goes to 4 p.m.

For more information about Alzheimer’s and to sign up for the Magic Valley Walk visit the Alzheimer’s Association’s website.

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