Community Stories/News

Join the Walk to End Alzheimer’s by Mary Bates, MS, CT, Certified Dementia Practitioner

This fall, more than 600 communities around the country will participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The nation

al event is held to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. People of all ages and abilities are invited to participate and join the fight against the disease.

Some facts about Alzheimer’s from the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s website at

  • More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.
  • Between 2000 and 2019, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased 145%.
  • Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women.
  • One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
  • Alzheimer’s kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
  • More than 11 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
  • Fifty percent of primary care physicians believe the medical profession is not ready for the growing number of people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
  • In the US, Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths have increased 16% during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In 2021, Alzheimer’s disease will cost the United States $455 billion. This number is projected to rise to more than $1.1 trillion in 2050.

Communities that participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s offer several ways to take part, including walking as part of a community event, where social distancing, sanitizing stations, and contactless registration will be employed. It’s also possible to participate without attending the walk-inperson, with options to participate online and in your own neighborhood. Summit by Morrison staff and friends will be Walking to End Alzheimer’s on Sunday, September 26, in St. Johnsbury, Vt., with the Vermont Alzheimer’s Association. Look for more details on our website and Facebook page as the event nears or register online at

Participants in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s are encouraged to choose a flower (a live flower or a handcrafted one, and dress in the colors as well) to walk with, which represents their connection to Alzheimer’s and their reason for walking to end the disease.

  • A blue flower indicates someone living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
  • A purple flower is for an individual who has lost someone to the disease.
  • A yellow flower signifies a person who is currently supporting or caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s.
  • An orange flower is for participants who support the cause and the Alzheimer’s Association’s vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

The Alzheimer’s Association asks everyone who would like to participate to register online or in-person on the day of the event in their community. Participants can start a team, join a team or walk as an individual. The event is free, but participants are encouraged to raise funds to advance the fight against Alzheimer’s.

All funds are raised to advance the care, support, and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. The Alzheimer’s Association is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization; all donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Mary Bates, MS, CT, is a Certified Dementia Practitioner. She is the Assisted Living and Memory Care Director of Summit by Morrison, a senior living community offering independent living, assisted living, memory care, and respite care.

Through this column, Mary will share the experience, knowledge, and resources she and her team rely on, anticipating that it will be useful for anyone living with, caring for, or coming into contact with a person with dementia. Send your questions to Understanding Dementia at Summit, 56 Summit Drive, Whitefield, NH 03598 or email Mary will share information and answer as many questions as possible through this column. Learn more about Summit by Morrison at



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