Lutheran SeniorLife Families, Friends and Staff Unite to Help Find a Cure
Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, has debilitating consequences for the more than five million Americans who suffer from it – including some Lutheran SeniorLife residents.
To show their support and to raise awareness and funds for research, staff and families from several of our facilities participated in the 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer’s events throughout our region.
“This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart, professionally and personally,” said Claudia McIntyre, health care coordinator at RoseCrest Assisted Living and captain of the St. John Community team. The team of 114 walkers participated in Pittsburgh’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 11 and raised $11,935 – more than any other corporate team. Lutheran SeniorLife was a bronze sponsor of the event.
Although the team did not solicit individual donations, they did send a letter to residents’ families asking them to join St. John Community “in a show of support and solidarity in this battle to end Alzheimer’s.” By the day of the walk, the team’s registration page had received more than 90 donations.
Their team t-shirt displayed handprints and signatures of RoseCrest residents with the slogan “This is why we walk.” RoseCrest Assisted Living was the first state certified assisted living community to serve people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
“Our residents, families and employees are the best,” McIntyre said. “I would like to deeply thank everyone for their participation, donations and everything they did to make the St. John team such a success.”
A group from Passavant Community also joined the Pittsburgh Walk, raising an additional $315. The group included one of Passavant’s chaplains, Rev. John Hoogerbrugge. “As a long-term health care chaplain for 17 years,” he said, “I have witnessed first-hand the devastation this disease causes. It is heartbreaking to see once active adults lose their ability to function and also to see the distress this disease causes their families.”
Participants in the event carried pinwheel flowers with the names of loved ones with Alzheimer’s written on the petals. Purple flowers showed those lost to Alzheimer’s; yellow signified caregivers; orange represented those advocating for Alzheimer’s research and blue flowers were carried by those diagnosed with the disease.
In September, Lutheran SeniorLife (with Valley Care and LIFE Beaver County) was a gold sponsor of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Brady’s Run Park. A team of employees and their families also participated in the one-mile walk.
Mr. Frederick “Tad” Miner and his daughter Laurie Miner-Dhonau participated in the walk in honor of Mr. Miner’s wife Joan, a resident at RoseCrest.
Lori Hank Bridges, hospice nurse, plants her pinwheel flower in the Promise Garden.