We are all connected in some way to someone with dementia.
“You can’t go very far without meeting someone that has been affected by Alzheimer’s,” says Simon Grypma. “My dad died from dementia. It affects so many of us.”
Grypma is one of the organizers of the annual Walk for Alzheimer’s coming up on May 6 at Lakeside Park and across the country, sponsored by Investors Group. He’s hoping the Nelson walk can bring in $20,000, which he says will all be spent on dementia awareness programs locally.
His co-organizer, Emily Tucker of Investors Group in Nelson, says the outdoor gathering before and during the walk is a great way to informally connect with others.
“I invite anyone who is dealing with dementia, or is new to it, or is concerned about it — this is a great opportunity to come into a very open environment and talk about it. It is a safe environment to do so, a big enough space, people can have their conversations wherever they want to.”
People wishing to contribute to the walk can join a team, create a team, or just make a donation. Information and pledge forms are available on the Nelson page of the Alzheimer Walk website.
“Or you can show up to the walk and register there with pledges or a donation,” says Grypma. “That’s Sunday 11:00 at the Rotary shelter, and we will be walking throughout the park. Last year we had 200 participants.
“There will hot dogs and refreshments, drinks, cookies, and we want everyone to bring their kids and their grandparents.”
There will also be a silent auction. Items for the auction can be dropped off at Investors Group, 515 Vernon St.
Tucker says she interacts with people daily in her office — clients or their family members — who are dealing with dementia.
“I have three clients I have met with so far this year whose spouses have recently been diagnosed, and most of our meetings are counselling sessions in a way. Being involved with this helps you understand what resources are out there for them. It is not about money. It’s about awareness.”