By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s held on Saturday, Oct. 15 in Cherokee raised over $5,000. The money raised and pledged at the event, which drew over 100 participants, has just about all come in said Kristy Dotson, program associate for the Alzheimer’s Association Western Carolina Chapter office in Cherokee.
“I really think it went great,” she said of the walk. “A lot of people were commenting on it a few days afterwards. The most important thing to me is getting the awareness out.”
She related that Harrah’s Cherokee donated $2,500 to the walk.
Dotson praised the walk committee including Pepper Taylor, Big Cove Rep. Perry Shell and his wife Phyllis. “They did a great job. They did everything they possibly could. The walk committee really pulled it together.”
Rep. Shell commented, “I’m very proud of the community for their open-heartedness and support for the walk. I’d like to thank all of those that donated and sponsored the walk and those that participated in the walk.”
In all, 19 walks have been organized in North Carolina this year. Several are still upcoming including one in Hickory on Nov. 6 and one in Charlotte on Nov. 12.
The Alzheimer’s Association is hosting two Regional Caregiver Education Conferences in the upcoming weeks. The first is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 14 at the First United Methodist Church in Sylva and the second is set for Tuesday, Nov. 15 at the First Baptist Church of Murphy in Murphy.
The conferences will feature several discussions and lectures including: “Medical Management of Alzheimer’s and Dementia” by Blythe Sanders Winchester, MD, MPH, Cherokee Indian Hospital; “Challenging Behaviors – How Do I Cope?” by Dr. Bryan E. Connell, PhD; “Let’s Talk About Dementia Care: Video Presentation and Open Dialogue” by the staff of the Alzheimer’s Association Western Carolina Chapter; and more.
The Alzheimer’s Association lists the following 10 warning signs for the disease: memory loss that disrupts daily life, challenges in planning or solving problems, difficulty completing familiar tasks, confusion with time or place, trouble understanding visual images, problems with words in speaking or writing, misplacing things, decreased or poor judgment, withdrawal from activities, and changes in mood and personality.