Stepping out for dementia

The Kukutai family from Hamilton and Tauranga joined the 2017 Memory Walk. Photo: Rosalie Liddle Crawford.

Hundreds of locals will be going the extra mile for the 60,000 people living with dementia in New Zealand with the annual Memory Walk in Mount Maunganui on September 29.

Alzheimers Tauranga/WBOP will be among thousands of Kiwis joining more than 20 walks throughout New Zealand in September as part of World Alzheimers Month.

Manager Julie Sargisson says World Alzheimers Month is a powerful tool to raise awareness and campaign for change, but it's also a time of reflection for Kiwis who are affected by dementia.

 “Memory Walks allow the community to show their support for people with dementia and their families/whanau, friends and care partners.”

Julie says they’re looking forward to a good turn out from the community. “We want to make this year’s Memory Walk our biggest yet. We’ve pulled out all the stops and registrations are coming in quick. It’s great to see the community so enthusiastic to get out there and show support for people living with dementia and their families/whanau and friends in the Bay.”

Dementia is one of New Zealand’s most significant and growing healthcare challenges with four out of five Kiwis are affected by dementia in some way. The number of people living with dementia in New Zealand is expected to nearly triple to about 170,000 by 2050.

This will be the fifth Memory Walk hosted by Alzheimers Tauranga/WBOP and it has grown from around 50 people in 2014 to well over 400 in 2017.

The 3.5km Memory Walk will leave Coronation Park at 10am on Saturday, September 29. Registration is free, however donations are welcome and you can start your own fundraising page. All participants receive a purple Memory Walk t-shirt. To register visit: https://memorywalk2018.gofundraise.co.nz/