News

Walks for Alzheimer’s taking place across Oxford County this month, with events in Woodstock on Jan. 27 and in Ingersoll and Tillsonburg on Jan. 20

By Heather Rivers, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

Heather Wilson-Boast, with Shelley Green, will take part in Ingersoll Walk for Alzheimer's on January 20. (HEATHER RIVERS, Sentinel-Review)

Heather Wilson-Boast, with Shelley Green, will take part in Ingersoll Walk for Alzheimer's on January 20. (HEATHER RIVERS, Sentinel-Review)

It’s more than just a fundraiser for an Ingersoll woman whose husband was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease eight years ago.

“The walk is so inspiring to us,” explained Heather Wilson-Boast, who will take part in the Ingersoll Walk for Alzheimer’s on January 20. “It feels like a room full of hope. It’s a great fundraiser but it’s also fun. It’s an amazing afternoon.”

Charles Boast, who also been diagnosed with vascular dementia due to sleep apnea, has not let his duo diagnosis slow him down.

Not only does he curl, he also attends stamp and coin clubs, and skipped the interview with the Sentinel-Review because it was the first mild day in weeks and he prioritized going for a walk.

Boast and his wife have also utilized most of the education, support and social programs offered the Alzheimer Society of Oxford.

“What so important about the walks is the money stays local,” Wilson-Boast said.

Over 450 people are expected to take part in three walks across the county this month in support of the Alzheimer Society of Oxford who raises awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

“We definitely want to get the message across that it’s a fun afternoon,” said Shelley Green, executive director of the Alzheimer Society of Oxford. “For our clients — to be facing this journey and know you are not alone makes a massive difference.”

The walk is family oriented with food, face painting and activities such as mini massages.

“People can make the walk what they want it to be,” Green said. “It is not required that people walk at all. The walk is symbolic. We just want people to have fun and raise money.”

The Alzheimer Society of Oxford Count is hoping to raise $145,000 for local programs and services for over 2,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, their families, friends and caregivers in Oxford County.

During their last fiscal year, money raised helped to provide over 720 clients, 3461 visits by family support workers.

They also supplied 31 clients with over 1,500 hours through the Volunteer Companion Program, as well as 420 education and support groups.

The Alzheimer Society of Oxford receives 62 per cent of their funding from the Local Health Integration Network while 38 per cent is received through fundraising and donations.

In Tillsonburg the 23rd annual Walk takes place on Saturday, Jan. 20th from 9to 11 a.m. at the Lions Auditorium.

In Ingersoll, the 20th annual Walk occurs on Saturday, January 20th from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Unifor Hall.

On Saturday, January 27th, the 24th annual Walk will be held in Woodstock at the Oxford Auditorium from 2 to 4 p.m.

To donate or register online go to www.walkforalzheimers.ca.

For more information, visit www.alzheimer.ca/oxford or call 519-421-2466 or 1-877-594-2368.

Pledge sheets are available at the Alzheimer Society of Oxford – 575 Peel Street, Woodstock, Shoppers Drug Mart in Tillsonburg and both locations in Woodstock, Easy 101 Country 107.3, 104.7 Heart FM and Ingersoll Pharmasave.

HRivers@postmedia.com