Alzheimer’s walk marks fifth year

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An annual charity event born in Timaru that went nationwide celebrated its fifth year at the weekend.
Alzheimers South Canterbury hosted its fifth annual Memory Walk on Saturday in the Timaru Botanic Gardens.
The Timaru Memory Walk looped the Park Centre and finished with a sausage sizzle and live entertainment.
Purple T-shirts were distributed to participants.
The botanic gardens walk was attended by Reuben Thorne, who became familiar with dementia issues through a friend who works in the dementia sector and wanted to help spread the message to New Zealanders about the reality of dementia.
Alzheimers New Zealand vice-chairwoman Dr Ngaire Dixon
Dr Dixon said there was still stigma surrounding Alzheimer’s.
“Currently, it is estimated there are 60,000 people in New Zealand with dementia and it is estimated that number will reach 154,000 in 2050.
“What we need to do is raise awareness and reduce stigma.”
In 2012, about 500 people walked along Stafford St in a Memory Walk, prompting Alzheimers New Zealand to promote the idea throughout the rest of the country.
A Memory Walk was a way of remembering and honouring people who had dementia and also aimed to raise awareness of the condition.