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Fundraisers help ‘Make Memories Matter’ in Prince Edward County

Alzheimers-photo-booth

Top Fundraiser was Kevin Ferguson who received four passes to the Regent Theatre and a dinner for two at Amelia’s Garden as well as a Visa Gift Card donated by committee member Angela Collinge and Scott Reeks. Top Team Fundraiser went to Kaptains Krew (headed by Shell-Lee Wurt). They won a pizza party courtesy of Angelo’s and a Visa Gift Card donated by Collinge and Reeks. Raffle winners of bath and body products were Rowan Betts-Frost and Vaughan Westmore.

 

Thirty walkers and numerous supporters raised more than $7,000 to support and help keep services for victims of Alzheimer’s and dementia in the County.

Saturday’s Walk for Alzheimers – Make Memories Matter was held at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute.

Barry Flanigan, Education and Support Co-ordinator in the County

Barry Flanigan, Education and Support Co-ordinator in Prince Edward County

Barry Flanigan, Education and Support Co-ordinator in the County, says the number of people living with dementia is estimated to be about 580 here.

“If you’re over age 65 it’s one in 10 people who are living with dementia. If you’re over age 85, it’s one in three,” said Flanigan.

With the County’s population at about 25 per cent seniors, this number, he said, will only grow and the need for programs, services and support will grow with the numbers.

“This is the reason fundraising is so important,” said Flanigan, “That’s why we’re here today, to keep our presence in the County. We don’t charge for our services and want to keep it that way for our office to continue to provide presentations to groups, resources, home visits and support for individuals, couples and caregivers.”

Participants walked and visited information booths provided by the Prince Edward County Museums and the Alzheimer's Society of Hastings Prince Edward.

Participants walked and visited information booths provided by the Prince Edward County Museums and the Alzheimer’s Society of Hastings Prince Edward.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of the community and all the funds raised will go right back into providing much-needed services to local residents,” said Nicola Crenna, fund development co-ordinator.

Flanigan also hopes to see the Project Lifesaver – Bringing Loved Ones Home program extended to the County this year.

Launched in co-operation with the OPP in Quinte West last month, the program gives officers the tools to find people suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism or Down Syndrome who have unexpectedly wandered off.

Quinte West’s is the first detachment to launch the project in partnership with the Hastings Prince Edward Alzheimer Society.

Clients wear a wrist bracelet equipped with a transmitter and if they go missing, police are notified and have all the background information they need to start a search.

“If a person is gone for more than 24 hours, it’s probably not going to be a good outcome. In a rural area, the one thing you shouldn’t do is phone the neighbours and say let’s tramp through the corn field because the dogs will not be able to pick up the scent because it will be contaminated.”

The wristband project in some cases will eliminate the need to rely on emergency response teams and canine units but it is expensive.

The Quinte West police services board provided $13,500 in funding to help launch the program with five wristbands. They will be lended to eligible clients for $400. Replacement batteries are estimated at $20 every two months. As the equipment is made in the United States, it is even more expensive due to the low Canadian dollar value.

GPS-based equipment, Flanigan notes is also being developed which should be more accurate and affordable.

Doris McKenna and Carol-Anne Gray walked in honour of mom Aldea McKenna and mother-in-law Millie Gray.

Doris McKenna and Carol-Anne Gray walked in honour of mom Aldea McKenna and mother-in-law Millie Gray.

Picton programs include Partners in Care on the second Thursday of the month at 2 p.m. and Early Stage and Partners in Care on the first Monday of the month at 10 a.m. at the Alzheimer’s office, 90 King St., Picton.
In Wellington, Partners in Care meet at the Wellington Library on the second Wednesday of the month at 2 p.m. Call 613-476-2085 for program details or email: barry.flanigan@alzheimerhpe.ca

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