Highland Village, a nonprofit retirement community in Fallon is hosting its inaugural “Walk the Block” event to raise awareness on Alzheimer’s disease.
“Walk the block” is an opportunity for individuals to get information on Alzheimer’s disease, including facts and figures, warning signs and stages of Alzheimer’s. Highland Village also will provide information and resources for what caregivers can expect when taking care of an individual with some form of dementia.
Lisa Gonzales, director for Marketing and Sales of Highland Village, said today there are 5 million people suffering from Alzheimer’s, an increase from the 2 million that were diagnosed in the 1980’s.
“As the population ages, we need to become more aware and raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Gonzales.
Gonzales said it is easy to disregard someone with Alzheimer’s disease and think they are just “going crazy.” In her experience, her family thought her grandmother was just “losing her mind.” Gonzales said her grandmother was a window who lived with her cat, but often ran away from home.
“It is different when you have to watch your grandmother, who you used to do things with, runaway from home, from her cat,” Gonzales said. “It is tough because you know your loved one is in there, but you just can’t reach them. There are good days and bad days.”
This is the first “Walk the Block” event Highland Village has held. Gonzales encourages residents to come out to the event to meet Highland Village residents and take them on a short walk.
Gonzales said the event is a good opportunity to educate the community and also to allow residents to get out into the community to meet people.
Participants in the walk will receive a purple ribbon to wear that will be made by Highland Village residents. Attendees can sponsor and accompany one of the residents for a cash donation that then goes back into benefitting Highland Village residents.
The event starts a 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1, there will be refreshments available to attendees.