Stepping Up Our Support for Families of Those With Alzheimer’s

As researchers continue their quest to end Alzheimer’s disease, those of us who provide care for or love someone who is living with the disease have many reasons to remain hopeful a cure is on the way.

For instance, new drugs are available that appear capable of delaying the disease’s progression, and possibly even stopping it. A blood test has been developed that may be able to detect an individual’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms emerge.

In June, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted fast-track designation to an experimental vaccine that may delay or prevent the onset of dementia symptoms. The FDA designation will help expedite the vaccine’s development and potentially move it more quickly through the review and approval process.

In addition, scientists are expanding their knowledge of potential underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, as in this study led by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University. Research is also uncovering more about genetic factors that might protect individuals against Alzheimer’s disease, as these findings suggest.   

This article by Mayo Clinic provides information about other recent advances in Alzheimer’s research.

Meanwhile, at Park Senior Villas, we’re finding ways to enhance our support for those who have a spouse, parent, or other loved one who’s on the Alzheimer’s journey — because the disease has an impact on family members, caregivers, and friends, as well.  

Walking the Walk to End Alzheimer’s

In the past, each of our communities has hosted its own Walk to End Alzheimer’s on the same day as the citywide walks organized by the local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association in Tucson and Phoenix.

The walks are more than a way to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. They’re opportunities to raise awareness and to bring together people who know what it’s like to live with the disease, whether they have it themselves, are related to or are friends with someone who has it, or provide care — whether as a professional or an unpaid caregiver — for someone with Alzheimer’s.

Along with our staff and residents, we’ve invited family members, our professional partners, neighbors, and others in the surrounding communities to participate. Some join us to honor a loved one they’ve lost. Others come to express their hope for a cure. Many participate for the fellowship they receive from other participants.

The walks in our communities have always been among our best-attended events. We’ve put a lot of effort into planning them, providing plenty of food, live entertainment, and games for kids of all ages to enjoy.

This Year, We’re Doing More

To see how we might have a greater impact, we reached out to the local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association. Together, we came up with a fantastic idea: Park Senior Villas will sponsor two events — one in Tucson and one in Downtown Phoenix — to celebrate the commitment of those who’ve participated in the association’s walks in both cities. 

So that everyone has a chance to rest up after the walks on Saturday, we’ll be hosting after-walk celebrations on the following Thursday:

2023 Walk to End Alzheimer’s — Tucson & Green Valley/Sahuarita

Occurred Saturday, Oct. 28

Gene C. Reid Park, Tucson

Park Senior Villas – Houghton After-Walk Celebration

Thursday, Nov. 2

844 N. Houghton Road, Tucson

6 – 8 p.m.

2023 Walk to End Alzheimer’s — Phoenix

Saturday, Nov. 4

Wesley Bolin Plaza, Phoenix

Check-in starts at 7:30 a.m.

Park Senior Villas – Chandler After-Walk Celebration

Thursday, Nov. 9

4950 S. Lindsay Road, Chandler

5 – 7 p.m.

Park Senior Villas had an exhibit table and team at the Tucson Walk to End Alzheimer’ and will have a table at the Phoenix Walk to End Alzheimer’s, as well as a team participating in the event.  

Similar to the walk events we’ve had in our communities in previous years, we’ll have refreshments, live music, and other entertainment for the young and young at heart at the celebration parties.

We’ll also have an awards ceremony to recognize many of the accomplishments from walk day, and we’ll recreate the promise gardens from the walks.

Walkers who are also car buffs are in for a special treat: The Arizona East Valley Mustang Club is partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association in the Drive to End Alzheimer’s and will have a collection of vintage and late-model Mustangs on display along the Phoenix walk route. Club members will bring their cars to the celebration party at Park Senior Villas in Chandler as well. 

You can join us at the celebration parties, even if you aren’t able to participate in the walks. Just click on the links above to RSVP.

Alzheimer’s in Arizona

According to Pam Eisenberg, the senior development manager for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at the Phoenix Alzheimer’s Association, Desert Southwest Chapter, Alzheimer’s disease impacts Arizona more than any other state in the country.

  • Arizona has the most people over the age of 65 with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • There are more than 260,000 unpaid caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s disease in Arizona.
  • On average, unpaid caregivers in Arizona spend 38 hours per week providing care, and many have full-time jobs as well.
  • The Phoenix Walk to End Alzheimer’s is one of the largest walks in the country, with more than 10,000 participants.
  • In 2022, the Phoenix Walk to End Alzheimer’s was #14 out of more than 630 walks across the country in terms of revenue and donations.

Support and Resources Available Through the Alzheimer’s Association

At Park Senior Villas, we see every day how Alzheimer’s disease affects our residents and their friends and families. We’re proud to partner with the Alzheimer’s Association on the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in our cities. Money raised at the events is used for research, programs, and services that support individuals and their loved ones throughout their journey.

  • The 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900. Anyone who wants information, support, or assistance for themselves or someone they love who is living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia can call anytime day or night, 365 days a year, and talk with a professional who has a Master of Social Work degree. Help is available in more than 200 languages.
  • Support groups. The Desert Southwest Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association offers more than 50 support groups across Arizona and southern Nevada, all led by trained facilitators.
  • Educational programs. Sessions cover a range of topics, and most are offered in English and Spanish.
  • Early-stage programs. These education sessions, activities, and Memory Cafés are designed specifically for individuals with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and their care partners or family members.
  • First responders training. This free online course prepares paramedics, police, firefighters, and other emergency personnel to respond to calls involving individuals living with dementia.
  • Community resource finder. This free tool on the Alzheimer’s Association website helps families and individuals find local professionals, services, and support options for a broad range of needs. 

Park Senior Villas Is Here to Help, Too

park senior villas team at alzheimers event

If you’re caring for someone who’s living with Alzheimer’s disease, know that we understand your challenges. We can put you in touch with nearby resources, and our respite care can give you a much-needed break.

If your loved one could benefit from round-the-clock care provided by a dedicated, thoroughly trained staff in a family-like environment, we encourage you to check out our memory care. We’d be happy to set up a visit at the Park Senior Villas location nearest you. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll be hosting a series of educational sessions in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association. Anyone who wants to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease is welcome to attend. Call the Park Senior Villas location nearest you to learn more about the sessions and when they will take place.