Providing Hope and Support at the Queens Walk to End Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. This inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to join the fight against the disease.

This year, the NYC Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is holding the Queens Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Little Bay Park on October 7. Last year, more than 400 Queens residents of all ages participated in the event, each with a personal reason for taking part, whether they were recently diagnosed, a caregiver, or someone who had lost a parent, grandparent or a loved one to the disease.

Professionals in the eldercare field, who are passionate about finding a treatment and a cure for Alzheimer’s, are also among those who walk. They know that every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops the disease, and one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

Rona Siaca, director of Community Relations at Brandywine Living at The Savoy in Queens, has both professional and personal reasons for joining the Queens Walk. Siaca has been working professionally as an eldercare advocate and senior living provider for more than 12 years, and has been at Brandywine for three and a half years.

Brandywine currently serves 150 residents, some with early stage Alzheimer’s or dementia, including 40 residents who are cared for in a secured memory care wing that keep those who may wander safe and secure.

“Years ago, before she passed away, my grandmother was called senile,” said Siaca. “There was no hope, no name for her symptoms, and no treatment available. Today, we know her symptoms were caused by undiagnosed Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.

“The Alzheimer’s Association has really shed a light on the disease, and they provide care and support programs, and information families can take advantage of while we support the search for a cure,” she added.  “I walk for research. Research results in knowledge, and with knowledge, there is hope.

“I also walk to honor my Aunt Pearl, who also developed Alzheimer’s,” Siaca continued. “I went through the whole process with her, all the initial stages of denial and her attempts to cover-up her loss of memory before she passed away five years ago. I’m grateful that this time, my family and I were able to take advantage of the information on the Alzheimer’s Association website and the 24/7 Helpline.”

“Brandywine shares our mission to support all affected by Alzheimer’s while we advocate and raise funds for a cure, and they are just two miles from our Queens Walk location,” said Lucy DeNardo. “We are delighted Rona has joined our Walk Committee and the Brandywine community will be involved.

“The Queens Walk to End Alzhiemer’s gives everyone affected by the disease a sense of hope, and offers the support of a community that understands their challenges,” she added. “I look forward to seeing familiar and new faces at this year’s walk.”

Learn more and sign up for the Queens Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 7 at act.alz.org or email ldenardo@alz.org for more information on how to volunteer and participate.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. For more information, visit alz.org/nyc or call the 24/7 multi-lingual Helpline at (800) 272-3900.

Brandywine Living is a premier provider of quality care and services to seniors. Dedicated to promoting independence, dignity and individuality, the Brandywine team has a long history of providing a network of health care services in the mid-Atlantic region including assisted living and Alzheimer’s and dementia care. For more information, visit brandycare.com.

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