Alzheimers Memory Walk linked across the country
Blenheim bagpiper Barry Brown led around 300 people on a 'memory walk' last year, and more are expected to step up this year.
Alzheimers Marlborough will host a Memory Walk on September 24 leaving from the Monro St car park at 10am.
Diane Tolley from Alzheimers Marlborough says they are looking forward to a good turnout from the community again this year.
People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to participate in support of people with dementia and their families, friends and carers.
"It's a time for us to remember the people we know or have known with dementia," Diane says.
The Memory Walk in Blenheim is one of 20 being held throughout New Zealand in September as a part of World Alzheimer's Month.
Alzheimers NZ boss Catherine Hall said dementia was one of New Zealand's most significant and growing health challenges, with more than 60,000 living with the condition.
This was forecast to increase to 170,000 by 2050 and would cost the country nearly $5 billion a year.
Catherine says even though dementia is a significant health and social challenge there was scant discussion or acknowledgement of its everyday impacts.
"Most people with dementia live in our communities. They shop, work, eat out, catch the bus, go to the library and do everything else we all enjoy doing," Catherine says.
To make a difference to the lives of people living with dementia, their care partners, and families, Alzheimers NZ and local Alzheimers organisations have adopted a 'dementia-friendly NZ' as a mission.
"We want New Zealand to be an open and inclusive society - a place where people with dementia feel valued and safe, and where they can contribute to and participate in their communities. Memory Walks are an important part of raising more awareness about the condition."
Memory Walk registration is free and opens at 9.30am at Monro St car park.
Meanwhile, Alzheimers Marlborough offers information about services for people affected by dementia at their Drop in Spot at Blenheim Library on September 25 from 11am-12pm. Meetings have been held weekly through September, and will be held monthly from October onwards.
- The Marlborough Express