Vinton’s three long-term care facilities are working together for one goal: to increase awareness and raise funds to enhance the lives of their residents who have been impacted by dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Vinton Lutheran Home, Windsor Manor, and Virginia Gay Nursing & Rehab have partnered together for an All Day Alzheimer Awareness Event to be held Friday, September 30th, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Vinton.

The event will include a Remembrance Walk with a free will donation to participate. Event participants may walk at any time for any length of time and anyone interested in learning more about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia will have the opportunity to receive free information. There are also plans for a Lantern Lift Off with memory lanterns being available for purchase at the fairgrounds to be lit and released into the sky at any time during the event.

Lori Smith, Activity Coordinator for Virginia Gay Nursing & Rehab explained, “You may purchase a lantern and write your loved ones name on it, light it and watch it rise to the heavens. I feel this is a very freeing experience. Many emotions go into that and it is different for everyone. Some need to let go, some need closure, some need to remember and some need to express some other feelings.”

Organizers are hoping participants experience what they describe as a laid-back, relaxing day where participants can sign in and walk, make a donation, purchase a lantern, visit or just share memories or stories.

Tee-shirts in both short and long sleeve styles for this event may be ordered at any of the three long-term care facilities and will be available for purchase at the fairgrounds the day of the event. Short sleeve shirts start at just $12 for sizes Small through XL, with 2XL through 5XL also available for slightly more. Long sleeve shirts start at just $18 for sizes Small thru XL, with 2XL for $20 and 3XL for $21.

It’s estimated that 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Every 66 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed and Alzheimer’s has become the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes issues with memory, thinking and behavior. It progresses slowly over time to the point of hindering and interfering with basic daily tasks. And though there are treatments that can slow the progression and improve the quality of life for those diagnosed, there is no cure. The majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older, making it a cause for concern with caregivers of our older population.

All the proceeds raised from this event will stay in this community. The proceeds will be divided between the three sponsoring facilities. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact either Lori Smith at Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab; Sarah Smith at the Vinton Lutheran Home or Lisa Staab at Windsor Manor.