A walk for Alzheimer's takes place this Saturday in Winnipeg, but organizers are hoping Portagers will get involved right here at home, and even on another day, if it works best for you.

Alzheimer Society of Manitoba North Central regional coordinator Jennifer Harder says the official walk is happening at the Assiniboine Park Lyric Theatre Saturday, May 27th, at 10:00 a.m.

"But if people aren't able to make that, there is the 'Walk Your Way' option," says Harder. "You can register at our website online - alzheimer.mb.ca  - and you can walk at a different time. Everyone's encouraged to post some photos or videos; stories of how they're participating in the walk on social media, and tag the Alzheimer's Society in their posts," adds Harder. "There are options on Facebook, on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the official hashtag #IGWalkforAlz." 

Last year saw them bring in over $295,000, and they're shooting for a $330,000 figure for 2023.

"This money is going to be used for our First Link program and other resources that we offer for families that are affected by dementia," explains Harder. "The First Link program is a referral program that we have. Healthcare professionals, doctors, the Seniors Mental Health program, and Home Care can refer clients to us here, and that gets people connected to us right away, so that we can begin to provide resources and information as soon as possible. What we want to avoid is having people wait too long and then not contacting us until they reach a crisis. It's so much better if you can get the assistance that you need as soon as possible." 

Harder says, whether you take the 'Walk Your Way' option, or attend the Assiniboine Park gathering, it's a great way to come together as a community. 

"Some people are attending in order to honour and celebrate their family members or even the memory of some of their family members, and others come to connect with people that are going through similar situations. Some people are even coming to support families that are living with dementia." 

Harder explains fundraisers like this are extremely important right now, seeing as more than 18,400 Manitobans are living with dementia. She notes that number doesn't look like it will level out, but is expected to double by 2050 to over 39,000. 

"62 per cent of Manitobans are impacted by dementia because they have a family member or close personal friend that has the disease," notes Harder. "This is why we need help to ensure that these families are receiving the support that they need in their communities." 

She says the IG Wealth Management Walk For Alzheimer's is the largest Canadian fundraiser. 

"It's dedicated to helping more than 600,000 people in Canada that are living with dementia, as well as their families, friends, and care partners," says Harder. "It's important to know you're not alone, you can join the walk to make a difference, and to feel part of something larger." 

Contact info: 
Herman Prior Activity Centre (40 Royal Road North)
email jharder@alzheimer.mb.ca
phone number (204)239-4898