The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is growing — and growing fast. An estimated 5.4 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. Of the 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, an estimated 5.2 million people are age 65 and older, and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer’s).
One in nine people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease, and by mid-century, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds.
Those numbers are startling, but they give you a lot of reasons to join the Southern Ohio Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Alumni Green on the campus of Shawnee State University. Jeffrey Dehner, Events Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati says the hope is to to have over 500 participants this year and the goal is to raise $36,000.
“We have had the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Portsmouth for quite a few years – maybe even 15 years,” Dehner said. “This year will be the first time we’ve had it at Shawnee State so we’re very excited about it. We’re partnering with Shawnee State.”
Dehner said the walk benefits the Alzheimer’s Association and provides care and support for families affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia, as well as accelerating research to find a cure.
“There has been a lot of growth in awareness about the disease itself and about the walk,” Dehner said. “We have a group of volunteers, a volunteer planning committee that meets once a month that has done a tremendous job of raising awareness in the community and getting the word out about the walk.”
The committee is led by the event chair, Jamie Williams, and the event co-chair, Ryan Lawson. Jamie runs the Adult Day Stay at United Scioto Senior Activities in Portsmouth, and Ryan is a licensed social worker at SOMC.
Check-in/registration for the Walk opens at 9 a.m. The opening ceremony begins at 9:50 a.m. and the Walk itself will start at 10 a.m. The length of the Walk is approximately 2.5 miles.
Dehner said the Walk is free, but registration is required. He said they encourage everyone to register online prior to the day of the Walk by going to alz.org/walk, but people can still register the morning of the Walk.
Because the Alzheimer’s Association depends on the proceeds from the Walk to carry out its mission, all participants and their teams are encouraged to raise money. Every individual who raises $100 or more will receive an official Walk to End Alzheimer’s t-shirt in appreciation for their fundraising efforts.
There will be free food and beverages. Alan Hoover from 107.5 The Breeze will be the emcee and play music. Snack bags will be given to all participants when they return to Alumni Green after the Walk.
The Walk is very family-friendly and noncompetitive.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.