Two Valley groups join to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 5:25 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Mary Baldwin University’s Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences and the Alzheimer’s Association are partnering to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Association will host their annual “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” on campus.

“We’re really excited that we developed a partnership between Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences and the Alzheimer’s Association here in our regional area,” said Lisa Shoaf, Dean of Murphy Deming.

The two groups have also put together an educational series for the students at Murphy Deming. The class on Thursday, Sept. 1 was attended by nearly 100% of students at Murphy Deming.

“We have taken this opportunity to work interprofessionally to educate our students on Alzheimer’s and dementia, and leading up to the event, we have had three lunch and learn series,” said Megan Ady, Associate Profession, Physician Assistant and faculty representative planning the walk.

The three classes are Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Effective Communication Strategies, and Understanding and Responding to Dementia Related Behavior. Ady said each lunch event was sponsored by a business like Lady Ady’s Boutique, Martin’s, Domino’s of Fishersville, Papa John’s of Staunton and Walmart of Waynesboro.

“As soon as the community hears that this is for Dementia and Alzheimer’s awareness, they have been completely on board, and they are so excited to have their business be part of this event,” said Ady.

Not only do these sessions help students feel more confident managing relationships with people who may have memory loss, patients and clients will benefit.

“Many of our students do in fact do rotations in the regional area here in various clinics and hospitals, but even if they go beyond our regional area, they’re going to encounter patients and clients with dementia and Alzheimer’s,” said Shoaf.

Additionally, the students who attend all three sessions will get a certificate.

“They’re going to be great professionals that can go out and leave these sessions and be advocates for this medical conditions and to promote awareness in the community,” Ady said.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s will begin at 8 a.m. on Sept. 24 at Murphy Deming in Fishersville. The event is a large fundraising event for the Alzheimer’s Association, and Michelle LaRose said fundraising is going well.

“Our goal is $95,000. We already 53% there with a few weeks to do it and that’s when most of it comes in,” LaRose said.

Money raised goes to fund research, support and education. If you’d like to get involved with the walk, it’s not too late. Click here to find out how to participate.