“We are committed to enhancing care and support for all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias,” said Lambert. “During this month and throughout the year, we encourage caregivers to reduce stress and be healthy and for people to lend a hand in helping caregivers survive and thrive.”
The Alzheimer’s Association, Western Carolina Chapter wants to assure caregivers that they are not alone. The association provides around-the-clock support for those caregivers through support groups, educational programs, Internet resources and a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week helpline (1-800-272-3900). The association has a wealth of resources and information on its website at www.alz.org/northcarolina.
In Gaston County, the association provides a support group for caregivers. It has worked in partnership with the local community to provide educational programs to constituents, such as a recent “Navigating a Dementia Diagnosis” workshop.
“Being a caregiver is not a sought-out job,” said Goforth. “But a lot of times, people have to become one, because that’s the hand they’ve been dealt. Often, Alzheimer’s is more difficult on the caregivers than the people who have the disease. Caregivers need help, and the Alzheimer’s Association provides all of those resources if people are willing to ask for them.”
These critical care and support services are mostly funded by the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s disease care, support and research. The Alzheimer’s Association, Western Carolina Chapter hosts 13 walks across central and western North Carolina, including one in Gaston County, which took place on Sept. 7.
This year, Mr. and Mrs. Goforth were the co-chairmen of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s for Gaston, Cleveland and Lincoln counties. They helped plan the event, held at the Rotary Centennial Pavilion in Gastonia, from start to finish.
“Ending Alzheimer’s is the main cause we are committed and dedicated to,” said Goforth. “It affects a large majority of the people we work with and care for. It has touched everyone in some way.”
More than 535 people came out to the walk and helped raise more than $71,600 to fund care, support and research. However, even though the walk is over, the fight to end Alzheimer’s never stops. Walk donations are still being accepted through Dec. 31. See the Website at www.act.alz.org/gastonclevelandlincoln.com to make your donations now.
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