Alzheimer’s Memory Walk 2020

Pamela Laird and Jacinta Dixon with friends getting ready for the Memory Walk.

I mentioned this briefly in my other article World Alzheimer’s month, in this week’s issue but I want to go into more detail and how you can help with this very important event, sometimes people say what can they do or how can they get involved well this is your chance.
Covid -19 has given a hammer blow to the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland fundraising and like I have always said the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland is for all types of dementia and not just Alzheimer’s, they are going to be down well over €1 million because of this health crisis and the necessary government restrictions that are in place.
The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland has continued to support people living with dementia and their families during Covid -19 as our Home Care, Dementia Advisors, National Helpline and Online Family Carer Training have remained open and have also implemented new ways of providing ASI supports remotely to our clients- Expansion of the helpline, Online Support Group for Family Carers, Activity Packs and Phone Calls. I can tell you on a personal level we would be lost only for the ASI both Helena and myself.
All money raised from the Memory Walk campaign will be dispersed to our services to cover shortfall in running costs as a result of the reduction in fund raising this year. In July after many months of calling for a Government road map to start reopening our vital face-to-face group -based dementia specific supports, the HSE published a document that sets out the criteria for us to begin to put our reopening plans in place. We welcomed the publication of this document.
The ASI will need to review each day care centre to ensure com-pliance based on the full guidance being issued by the HSE, a phase based approach has been shared with the HSE and each centre will be evaluated and will need to be signed off by ASI Senior Management team and the HSE.
Day care at home is a new service offered by the ASI to help and support people and their carers living with dementia in the home, the service was offered as a result of day care centres currently being closed.

How can you help I hear you saying?
Well there are three simple steps
Register for your pack and t-shirt
3. Plan your route for Sunday September 20th.
Your route might be with your family and just around your back garden, wherever you go and whoever you do it with ,please do it safely and with proper social distancing and wearing face mask and doing the right thing, remember it’s your walk and it’s your way and you can have fun with it.
There are family friendly prices when you register and it is just €5 per child and €18 per adult.
The walks are suitable for all ages and a couple of us are going to Doneraile Park for 11am on Sunday and we are meeting at the main gate.
Our aim is that up to 6.000 people across Ireland will help to raise €100,000 euros for vital services.
I don’t need to go into all the figures again except to remind you that over 64,000 people have dementia in Ireland at the moment and that is expected to double to 150,000 by 2045, there are 11,000 new cases each year and affects all ages. I know people in their 30s, 40s and upwards.
This year we have beauty expert, entrepreneur and latest ASI ambassador Pamela Laird and she is urging the public to make every step count for the first Alzheimer’s Memory Walk. Pamela is delighted to back the campaign and has shared her family’s connection with dementia as her father, Sylvester was diagnosed in 2016.Now you might want to hear from someone else besides me so I want to tell you a bit about a wonderful woman and a good friend of mine.

Jacinta Dixon
Jacinta Dixon, a member of the Irish Dementia Working Group and who lives in Clondalkin in Dublin was diagnosed with dementia in 2016. She is really looking forward to getting back into her community after the Covid-19 lockdown and is taking part in the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, Jacinta has said.
“Since I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years ago I have kept as active as possible under the circumstances, continued to live well and be part of my community. But the past few months have been very challenging with cocooning and social distancing. At times it has been frightening. Now I feel that I am starting to get back out there -going shopping and taking my regular walks. That’s why I am so delighted to take part in Alzheimer’s Memory Walk-it will give me a purpose and a reason to get back out into my community again and I am really looking forward to doing a walk with my family on Sunday 20th September to mark World Alzheimer’s Month. The theme of World Alzheimer’s Month is Let’s Talk About Dementia and I think Alzheimer’s Memory Walk gives everyone that opportunity-to get out there, go for a walk with your family, raise awareness for dementia and vital funds for those who need it most”

The Alzheimer’s Society is there for everyone who is affected by dementia.
They are open six days a week
Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm
Saturday 10am -4pm
Freephone number 1800 341 341
So put on your walking shoes this Sunday and go for a short or long walk its up to you and help this wonderful organisation, who help so many and if you wish take pictures of you and your family in your t-shirt and you can email them to me at and I can include them in next week’s paper, so have fun and stay safe and on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland, a big thank you to each and every one of you.