Tag Archives: dementia

Why I Walk Wednesday with Stephen Opitz

23 Nov


I’m walking in honor and memory of my grandfather, Robert  Painter, to help reclaim the future for millions. My grandfather was a brilliant man who unfortunately lost his battle with Alzheimer’s three years ago. By participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, I’m committed to raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research, care and support so we can find a cure and stop losing so many amazing people to this terrible disease.

Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.

Please join me and other Princess Anne High School students, families, and friends and walk in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and if you are able, PLEASE make a donation to help the Alzheimer’s Association advance research into methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Coastal VA Walk
Stephen Opitz, team captain
PAHS Brain Trust

Why I Walk Wednesday with Brookdale Virginia Beach

16 Nov

Why I Walk Wednesday_BrookdaleVB.jpg

At Brookdale Virginia Beach we all have different reasons why we support ALZ:

“I support the end to ALZ because it’s such a debilitating disease.  Supporting our residents with ALZ is very rewarding.” – Rebecca Foster, Business Office Coordinator

“Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that affects not only the residents but the entire family.  I support ALZ to provide happiness to the residents affected and watch them smile when speaking of their memories.” – Missy Marshall, Health & Wellness Director

“I support the end to ALZ hoping to eliminate the fear and pain caused by the disease to those afflicted and their loved ones.” – Felicia Packer, Sales & Marketing Manager

“I support ALZ because it is not just a resident disease but a community disease.  The more we educate ourselves on the signs and steps of ALZ the more we will be prepared to face this disease head on and not from the shadows.” – Perry LaCore, Resident Care Coordinator

“I support the end to ALZ for a better outcome for everyone’s future.  Finding a cure would benefit those who are lost, confused, hurt, and/or angry throughout this process.  Finding a cure will give everyone involved a sense of hope and clearly understanding what is going on around them.  Finding a cure can continue to fulfill the lives we truly enjoy by doing things we never imagine doing.” – Lanice Baker, Clare Bridge Program Coordinator

Brookdale Virginia Beach – Clarebridge Forget Me Nots
Diamond National Team
Le’Anne Bailey Hayes, team captain

Why I Walk Wednesday Kristen Simonette Messmore

9 Nov


I’m walking in honor of my dad who had Alzheimer’s for 8-10 years.  He passed away just 2 days shy of his 74th birthday.  He was looking forward to creating some incredible memories in his retirement.  Because of this terrible disease, he lost the ability to do most of the things he loved to travel, drive, or visit the Elks.

I’m so sad that my dad didn’t have the opportunity to be the grandpa he wanted to be and that my kids won’t remember what he was like when he was well.  I miss being able to talk with him like we used to about cars, life, & travel.  This disease has robbed us all of so much.

I walk in hopes that no one else will have to suffer through this disease, so that others will have the retirement they had hoped for, been the grandpa they had wanted to be, and continue to have conversations with their kids about travel, life, and cars, so that no one else will be robbed like we were.

I walk so that we can raise the funds needed to put an end to Alzheimer’s so no one else will have to experience the grief that we have.

Coastal VA Walk
Simi’s Buds Team
Kristen Simonette Messmore, team captain

Why I Walk Wednesday with Becky Watson

19 Oct


I’m very proud to walk in RHYTHM with my purple DRUMs during numerous Alzheimer’s Association  Southeastern Virginia Chapter Walks. These beautiful, light and inviting drums create JOY and SMILES with just a gentle tap of the finger or hands … anyone can play a drum!

Music – specifically rhythm – helps people with dementia reconnect in the present moment or environment. With our group music therapy programs for people living with dementia, rhythm is a primary intervention used to engage, energize, and empower.

I love walking and drumming during Alzheimer’s Association Walks because the cadence and rhythm invites others to join me, marching in step to the same beat, synchronicity and entertainment. Drumming also fosters a sense of playfulness or release of anger and tension. It can also help in decreasing social isolation and the building of positive relationships and connections.

It is always a pleasure and honor to find my own rhythm and serve older adults with dementia with energizing music therapy programs. Even though their brains are declining in cognitive functioning, they can still tap to a beat, dance, move and sing with such rhythms, zestenjoyment and laughter!

Join Becky Watson this weekend at the Williamsburg Walk register now.

Aces for Alzheimer’s

18 Oct


Organizers, Austin Beale (L) and Alex Loope (R), members of the Norfolk Collegiate School’s tennis team, held Aces for Alzheimer’s, a doubles tennis tournament, at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club this past Saturday, October fifteenth.

Alex was motivated to start this event after the loss of his grandfather to Alzheimer’s. Participants included students from Norfolk Collegiate School, Norfolk Academy, and Maury High School. In total, the event raised over a thousand dollars.

You can join Austin and Alex by registering and raising funds for The Longest Day.

Volunteer Spotlight: Theresa Davis

14 Oct


Theresa has a long history with the Association – over 25 years.  She was one of the Chapter’s first executive directors, advocating and providing support for those with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers during the infancy of Alzheimer’s awareness.  When she decided to pursue a different career path in the health profession, she continued to be a dedicated volunteer, fundraiser, and champion for those we serve.  In fact, Theresa was recognized in 2004 as an Outstanding Volunteer.  For over the past 16 years, she has dedicated her time to being a support group co-facilitator in Norfolk, helping families cope with the daily challenges of the disease.  Her commitment to the mission of the Association is ever evident and steadfast.


Why I Walk Wednesday with Amelia Erickson

12 Oct


Earlier this year, my mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 52.
I don’t think I’ll ever again feel the feeling that I did when I received the news. Just a simple phone call and my body went numb. I felt like the Earth had dropped from beneath me. There was no way that it was true. Eventually, it sank in, and now I am going to do what I can to help others who have experienced the same feeling.

The doctors said that my mother developed the disease sometime in her early 40’s. She raised two children, switched careers, and excelled at everyday life while this thing was trying to hold her back. It didn’t slow her down until 10 years later. Her struggle and my family’s fight are the reasons I am doing this walk. I have experienced what this disease does to a loved one, and it takes a toll on anyone to watch. My heart goes out to anyone caring for, or with this life-stealing thing that they call Alzheimer’s. No one deserves to be taken by this disease, and I want to help ensure that. God does everything for a reason, so I am going to make the most with the hand of cards that were dealt! I was lucky enough to have some great friends that pledged to help me, and when we walk on campus in October, we are walking for all of those who cant walk for themselves.

We are walking to end Alzheimer’s and I hope you guys join us for the cause.