In honor of National Alzheimer’s Month, Highland Village held its inaugural Walk the Block event, Nov. 1, taking residents for a walk around the area.
Volunteers from the Village and community were welcome to join in the walk, either sponsoring a resident, to ensure their safety and have any needs met, or as a general group volunteer.
The weather was perfect for a walk; clear skies and calm conditions led to warm temperatures that were ideal for walking outside and enjoying the changing seasons. Lisa Gonzales, director of marketing, and Lisa Chappelow, an administrator at Highland, said everyone involved was excited for the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise.
The group kept the walk simple. They went around the block, following the sidewalk around the Highland Village lot until they came back to the parking lot entrance. After the walk the group was treated to refreshments from Highland’s dietary staff.
Chappelow said raising awareness of Alzheimer’s and events fighting it are important because of how prevalent the disease is becoming. She noted when President Ronald Reagan created National Alzheimer’s Month only 2 million people had the disease; now, over 5 million people live with it.
Gonzales added fundraising efforts going to Alzheimer’s research and programs are good for the educational benefits the organizations provide. She said many people don’t understand why a family member suddenly stops recognizing them or struggles to do things they did for years; the education, services and information being made available can go a long way toward easing a family’s concerns.
“It’s probably one of the hardest things for families to deal with,” Gonzales said.
Donations were also accepted to help fund resident activities and services.
Highland Village plans to continue the event as an annual tradition next year.