Why do we walk to end Alzheimer’s? When I was a young boy, my widowed grandmother came to live with my family in rural Arkansas. Grandmother spent some time staying with each of her daughters’ families. Since my mother was the youngest, it seemed Grandmother spent the most time with us.
I soon realized that something was not quite right with Grandmother. She forgot things. Not just people’s names, but the names of places and objects. She lost her train of thought, and re-told the same stories. I remember how startled and disturbed I felt when I saw my grandmother talking back to our television. Looking back, it’s clear that my grandmother was experiencing some form of Dementia, likely Alzheimer’s Disease.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and the only one in the top ten with no prevention or cure. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that destroys brain cells and their connections resulting in memory loss and other cognitive changes. More people die from Alzheimer’s than from breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. One out of every three seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another form of Dementia. Currently more than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care to a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other Dementia, and that number is expected to triple by 2050.
Why I Walk
These early experiences with family caregiving influenced my decision to become a Certified Elder Law Attorney. Over the past 35 years practicing law in Dallas, I have helped hundreds of families affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia complete their estate planning, qualify for Medicaid, and prepare for incapacity.
Everyone Has a Reason to want to End Alzheimer’s
For years I have supported the Alzheimer’s Association, the world’s largest non-profit funder of Alzheimer’s research. I invite you to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s this fall. We will be walking in honor of and in memory of my grandmother and the hundreds of clients I have worked with that have been impacted by this disease. Join us at the Grandscape Walk to End Alzheimer’s outside Nebraska Furniture Mart in The Colony, TX on Saturday, September 28th. Another large walk is planned in Dallas on October 5th, and more than 300 other walks are planned around the country. Every dollar raised brings us one step closer to finding a treatment, prevention, or cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. Go to alz.org to learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.