INDIANAPOLIS — The director of the Indianapolis Walk to End Alzheimer's, Julie Moore, says, "Alzheimer's is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither are we."
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease, which is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
The Indianapolis Walk to End Alzheimer's is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Oct. 3, but with a different look.
The Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter will not be hosting a vast gathering this year but encourages participants to walks as individuals or in small groups wherever they choose.
"This year's Walk to End Alzheimer's will be everywhere," Natalie Sutton, executive director of the Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter, said. "The pandemic is changing how we walk, but it doesn't change the reason we walk. We need to come together to support all those affected by Alzheimer's and other dementia."
Although the walk will be a hybrid event, the organization will still be hosting a "view only" opening ceremony from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Eli Lilly & Company. The ceremony will feature local speakers and a presentation of Promise Flowers to honor the personal reasons participants join together to fight Alzheimer's and all other dementia, all delivered to participants' computers.
Organizers say there will also be new experiences and features, including encouraging audio tracks added to the Walk to End Alzhemier's app.
"We must continue Walk to End Alzheimer's, and we are working with all participants to ensure they have a powerful and moving experience that is felt when we are together," Moore said. "Many of our constituents are at higher risk when it comes to COVID-19, and we know that our volunteers and participants appreciate our commitment to keeping all involved healthy and safe."
More than 16 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer's and other dementias. In Indiana alone, more than 110,000 people are living with the disease and 342,000 are caregivers.
To register and receive the latest updates on this year's Walk to End Alzheimer's, visit alz.org/Indiana/walk.