'Walk for Memories' - charity in motion

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CORNWALL, Ontario – During Alzheimer Awareness Month, you can walk, run or roll for a great cause.

From left at the Alzheimer Society open house are Michelle Joannides, Joelle Perras, Roger Moquin, Donna Munro, Jeanne Poirier and Sherry Davis.

The Cornwall & District Alzheimer Society is inviting everyone to their 'Walk for Memories' fundraiser at the Cornwall Civic Complex on Sunday, Jan. 19 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Salon B & C.

As thousands are raised to help fund research into the cause, prevention and a cure - Bob & Ducky, one of Glengarry's finest Celtic duos, will be there to serenade the crowd.

Walk for Memories pledge forms are available at the event and the local Alzheimer Society branch office.

Donations can be made here, if you're unable to make any of the events and want to support participants by donating online.

Two more walks are also taking place in the region on the next weekend. The first is on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Canadian International Hockey Academy in Rockland. On the same day, a Zumbathon in support of the Alzheimer Society at the Char Lan Recreation Center in Williamstown will be happening.

This is all followed by one last big push for donations on Sunday, Jan. 26 at the Tim Hortons Dome in Alexandria with performers Fridge Full of Empties.

The Walk for Memories campaign currently sits at $2,840 of its $5,000 goal.

For more information, visit www.alzheimer.ca/cornwall.

As Alzheimer Awareness Month marches forward, a growing concern with disease specialists is that 50 per cent of Canadians wait too long for diagnosis.

The following is a media statement addressing the subject sent out by the charity's head office:

As many as 50 per cent of Canadians with dementia are not diagnosed early enough, losing precious time when care and support can make a tremendous difference in their quality of life and avert unnecessary crises for their families. That's why during Alzheimer Awareness Month, the Alzheimer Society is launching a new campaign, Early diagnosis keeps your life from unravelling, to promote the benefits of early diagnosis.

But fear and stigma continue to be huge barriers to seeking help. In a recent Nanos survey, 60 per cent of Canadians polled said it would be harder to disclose if they, or someone close to them, had Alzheimer’s disease compared to other diseases because of the social stigma associated with mental health issues.   

Earlier diagnosis opens the door to important information, resources and support through local Alzheimer Societies, which help people with dementia focus on their abilities to remain independent in their homes and communities longer. With early diagnosis, people can access medications that, although not effective for everyone, have the greatest impact when taken early.  On a practical level, an early diagnosis gives someone the chance to explain the changes happening in their life to family and friends and allows families to plan ahead.

"Seventy-four per cent of Canadians know someone with dementia and more and more Canadians will continue to develop the disease. We want to make sure they’re getting the help they need at every stage of the disease,” says Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada. “As devastating as the news can be, early diagnosis brings relief to families, gives them control over their situation and adds more years of living active and fulfilling lives." 

Throughout January, Canadians are encouraged to visit the Alzheimer Society’s campaign website, earlydiagnosis.ca/diagnosticprecoce.ca, to learn how to spot the signs of dementia, understand the benefits of a diagnosis and prepare for a doctor's visit. This year’s awareness campaign is proudly supported by the KPMG Foundation

Organizations: Cornwall District Alzheimer Society, Canadian International Hockey Academy, Char Lan Recreation Center Tim Hortons Dome Nanos KPMG Foundation

Geographic location: Rockland, Williamstown, Alexandria

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