The 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s for Tullahoma-Lynchburg will continue virtually Sept. 19 to ensure safety for participates during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States with more than five million Americans living with the disease.
“What we’re doing this year is trying to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association but we’re encouraging people to walk in their neighborhoods,” said Amy Fillpot, member of the Alzheimer’s Walk Planning Committee.
Fillpot said this year’s walk will be online as participates can download the Walk to End Alzheimer’s app as they walk on sidewalks, tracks, trails and neighborhood streets instead of the normal walk.
“We’re trying to get everyone to know that we’re still walking and we’re still trying to raise money for research,” Fillpot said.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is good for both Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers to have a routine for the day so they spend less time trying to figure out what to do, and more time on activities. Fillpot echoed the sentiment, noting that being shut in quarantine and not being able to go anywhere has made things more difficult.
“They get used to doing something so not being able to do it makes things even more difficult for them and for their caregivers,” Fillpot said.
One activity that will continue during the virtual walk is having a flower garden called the Promise Garden. In past events, the walk ends with participants planting flowers in a garden where the flowers represent how the walker is connected to the cause. Orange flowers represent those who support the organization and its vision of a world without Alzheimer's. Yellow flowers represent someone who is caring for a person living with Alzheimer's, purple flowers represent loved ones who have died due to Alzheimer's and blue flowers represent those who are living with Alzheimer's.
Fillpot said there will be a Promise Garden at Jack Daniels Distillery's Welcome Center in Lynchburg where people can drive by and see. She also encourages participants to plant their own rose garden in yards and in their neighborhoods as a way to stay safe.
“We’re looking for as many participants as we can. This isn’t something that’s going away. We’re fighting for that first survivor,” Fillpot said.
Anyone interested in participating in the virtual walk can register at act.alz.org and download the Walk to End Alzheimer's app to track their steps and to receive messages of support during the walk.
Kyle Murphy may be reached at email@example.com.