Mid Illinois, Springfield / Decatur

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Central Illinois Walks to End Alzheimer's Disease

  November 08, 2017


Submitted by the Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter

Across the nation, over 600 communities participate in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s. As a signature event for the Alzheimer’s Association, the walk is the world’s largest event that raises critical awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.

Though there are 27 Walk to End Alzheimer’s events in Illinois, three of these walks took place locally — the Jacksonville Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 9, Springfield Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 23, and the Decatur Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 7 — uniting residents in the fight against this relentless disease.

Each event is an opportunity for communities to rally together to fight a disease that can often feel hopeless.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and is the only disease in the top 10 without a prevention, treatment, or cure. In Illinois alone, there are 220,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and nearly 590,000 people providing unpaid care —  a support that is valued at $8.1 billion. Dementia is affecting our nation, our state, and our local communities.

The presence of dementia in our communities was highlighted in the outcome of the Jacksonville, Springfield, and Decatur Walk to End Alzheimer’s. These three events in total gathered nearly 1,600 people walking in the hope of finding a cure. As of mid-October, participants have raised over $217,639 for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.

The event also features a poignant Promise Garden Ceremony. This mission-focused experience allows participants to raise flowers signifying their personal reason for fighting to end Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Those who have Alzheimer’s or another dementia raise the blue flower. Those supporting or caring for someone with dementia raise the yellow flower. Those who have lost someone to Alzheimer’s or dementia raise the purple flower. Those who support the cause and the Alzheimer’s Association vision of a world without Alzheimer’s raise the orange flower. Together, the Promise Flowers create a dynamic, colorful, and meaningful garden representing the unity in ending this disease.

This year, the Alzheimer’s Association revealed a new flower, the white flower for the Alzheimer’s first survivor. There is no cure for this heartbreaking disease, but together through events like the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, one day we will have a first survivor.

Thank you to all sponsors, donors, participants, and volunteers who made the Jacksonville, Springfield, and Decatur Walk to End Alzheimer’s events successful. For more information on the Walk to End Alzheimer's events or to donate, visit www.alz.org/walk.

The fight to end Alzheimer’s extends beyond the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. It is in the everyday work of the Alzheimer’s Association.
The Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s disease care, support, and research. We serve 87 counties in Illinois, with offices in Bloomington, Carbondale, Chicago, Joliet, Peoria, Quincy, Rockford, and Springfield. Since 1980, the Association has provided reliable information and care consultation, created supportive services for families, increased funding for dementia research, and influenced public policy changes across the state.

We are determined to raise awareness and funds to find a cure, but until that day comes, we strive to provide the best care and support to local families affected by this disease. For the hundreds of thousands affected by dementia in Illinois, the Alzheimer’s Association provides the following resources:  24/7 helpline: 800-272-3900

Regardless of how Alzheimer’s disease has touched your life, we are here whenever or wherever help is needed. Our 24/7 helpline is available to provide information, emotional support, caregiving tools, and referrals to healthcare, financial, and legal resources. Translation services are available in over 200 languages.

Early stage / young-onset servies
Younger-onset Alzheimer's, also known as early-onset Alzheimer's, refers to those individuals younger than age 65 who have a diagnosis or Alzheimer's disease. We offer education programs and support groups tailored for those in the early stages who want to connect with other diagnosed individuals.

Educational programs
Offered in person, over the phone, and by webinar, we provide educational programs for people with dementia, their families, the public, and healthcare professionals. Topics range from Knowing the 10 signs of Alzheimer’s disease to how to better communicate with your loved one with dementia.

Care navigation
Our chapter offers individual sessions in person or by phone with a trained staff member to help individuals with memory loss and their families plan and cope with the disease. Care navigation provides answers to questions about what to do after a diagnosis and also provides guidance with decision-making as the disease progresses. It will assist you in building a team, finding available resources, considering legal/financial issues, resolving safety issues, and exploring changing roles and emotions.

Support groups
Support groups are available throughout the state, where family members, caregivers, and those in the early stages of the disease can confidently share concerns, encouragement, and information in a safe space.

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, but we can’t get there without you.
There are a wide variety of ways to join in the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Advocate to improve dementia care and services, and to expand funding for research and public programs. The Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter is the largest group in Illinois advocating on behalf of those living with Alzheimer’s disease. We invite you to add your voice to more than 27,000 other Illinoisans in speaking up for the needs and rights of people and families facing Alzheimer’s disease in our state. Together, we accomplish monumental successes on the federal and state level.

Donate to make a difference in the lives of those with Alzheimer’s disease and support research. Make a general donation or a memorial or tribute to honor a friend or family member. Your donations help us continue to provide care and support to local families affected by dementia and help support research.

Volunteer in our office, at special events, or as an Alzheimer’s Association Community Representative. The Alzheimer’s Association counts on volunteers to help fulfil our mission. In fiscal year 2017, 25,872 hours of service were contributed by 3,002 volunteers, all who regularly shared their time and talents serving in a variety of roles. The estimated dollar value for this volunteer time according to the independent sector is $624,550.

Participate in on our our signature events, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and the Longest Day, or create your own personalized event to raise awareness and funds.

Together we can make a world without Alzheimer’s a reality. To learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter visit alz.org/illinois, call the 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900 or visit The Alzheimer’s Association Springfield office located at 2309 W. White Oaks Dr., Suite E. Back to Top

November 08, 2017
Categories:  Feature

 

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