An early morning storm could not keep Extended Care Consulting and many other dauntless supporters from Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services of Northern Indiana’s 18th annual fundraising walk. Held at the Lake County Fair Grounds, the event helped raise funds for programs to support individuals and families facing Alzheimer’s or related dementias.
Over 5.4 million people across the U.S. suffer from some form of dementia, and in northern Indiana alone, more than 36,500 people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Organizations like Extended Care Consulting, which runs a number of nursing, assisted living, and rehabilitation facilities across the Region such as Sebos Nursing and Rehab, Lincolnshire Health and Rehab, Munster Med-Inn, Spring Mill Health Campus, and Dyer Nursing and Rehab, feel the impact of the disease daily, and understand how essential it is to combat and raise awareness of with events like the walk.
“This is a great way to support Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services of Northern Indiana,” said Kelly Petty, Extended Care Consulting’s Regional Director of Business Development. “They help families all across Northwest Indiana and provide some tremendous services. It’s nice to come out here and show our continued support, and it brings us all together as a community.”
Three of Extended Care Consulting’s campuses offer specialized memory care and provide service from certified dementia practitioners. The walk proved to be something of a gathering for organizations dedicated to serving groups likely to be impacted by Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Petty praised the work of groups like ComForCare Home Care, who help seniors and disabled individuals live comfortably in their homes.
“1 in 3 people gets Alzheimer’s and dementia, it’s a huge epidemic now,” said Mary Costello, a social worker and certified dementia practitioner at ComForCare. “We’re promoting and sponsoring events like this because we want this disease gone, for our future selves and children. They shouldn’t have to worry about this.”
Other medical service providers, like Superior Ambulance, also made an appearance. Sherry Sink, part of Superior’s Business Development, explained how her company participates, and why supporting the cause is a close personal effort for many participants.
“We’ve been coming out for going on 10 years now, we have the ambulance follow the walkers through the course,” Sink said. “Personally, we have family touched by Alzheimer’s and dementia, so it’s dear to our hearts and we want to be a part of this. Though ideally we’d have some sunshine!”
Despite the rain pouring down around them and a chill breeze sweeping through the shelter the crowd gathered under, spirits were high. Participants laughed, traded stories, and took part in a number of raffles for things like White Sox tickets and gift cards to Four Winds Casino. Organizers from Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services of Northern Indiana were ecstatic to see a good turnout despite the wild weather.
“It’s incredibly gratifying that anyone came out in this weather,” said Pam Huffer, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services of Northern Indiana. “We know that people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease every day, and their families are struggling with what to do next. The funds that we raise at this walk allow us to have a help line, monthly education in Lake County, and help us develop new programs to do the same in Porter County.”
To learn more about Extended Care Consulting and the many campuses they run, visit extendedcarellc.com/home/. For more information about Alzheimer’s & Dementia Services of Northern Indiana, go to www.alzni.org.
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