Why We at ASNS, Walk
“Hannah was my grandmother or as I knew her - simply Nanny,” starts Catherine about why she walks. “She was the maker of bread, a Friday night sleep over house, a tough lady who took care of her own home and she loved to pick cranberries on Saturday morning. I wear her wedding band as my own now and I walk for her.” Catherine Shepherd is the Society’s Coordinator of Education and Outreach in Cape Breton. She sums up why many of us have come to work at the Society: “So many of us across Nova Scotia are touched by the disease of dementia in some way, whether it's family or friends. I'm no different.”
You might assume that when it comes time for our annual IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s, the staff and board are busy with behind the scenes comings and going. There are website updates, website support, social media, venue logistics (in non-pandemic years), t-shirts ordered, brochures printed, committee’s formed, and most importantly, talking to you, our Walkers.
You wouldn’t be wrong. But what you might not know, is that we are also Walkers. In fact, 100% of our staff are registered for the Walk. We want you to hear from them on why they registered and will walk and fundraise:
Denise, Administration and Donor Assistant: I’m walking in support of our team, the staff and board. Also, I’m walking in support of our Programs and Services team for all the help they give to those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia’s.
John, CEO: I was 8 years old when my Grandma was admitted to long-term care with dementia. When I look back on her experience, and that of my family, it is with sadness, frustration, and sometimes even anger. As an adult, I find myself at the helm of a Society that exists to ensure that no Nova Scotian has to endure this, and no Nova Scotian has to face this journey alone.
Beth, Coordinator, Education, Support, and Outreach - Central Zone: I walk because after working in long-term care with people living with dementia for almost 20 years, having a family member diagnosed with dementia and now being blessed to work for ASNS, I see the positive impact the Society has every single day.
Kirstie, Manager, Program Development: I walk in memory of my Mum who lived with Alzheimer’s disease. I walk because the programs and services that we provide are navigation and support lifelines for families and people living with the disease. I walk for the exercise because it is good for our brains! Last, but certainly not least, I walk to support research. The more we learn about dementia and the unique cultural and linguistic needs of our clients, the better we are able to do our jobs!
Breanne, Coordinator of Communications: I walk in memory of my grandmother who had dementia. My personal connection has inspired me to give back to the Society and raise funds for programs and services, family support groups, and education about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Dominic, Coordinator, Education and Outreach, Guysborough, Antigonish & Pictou County: I walk in memory of my mother who had dementia. We used to enjoy going for walks and when she got frail I would take her in her wheelchair to get some sunshine on her and some fresh air. The Alzheimer Society has been very helpful to me in learning about dementia and supporting me in my role as a care-partner with Mum.
Carla, Director of Finance and Administration: I am walking in memory of my Grandmother and to support those on the dementia journey.
Sacha, Coordinator, Client Services: I do the Walk for Alzheimer’s every year because it has an immediate, positive impact on the quality of life of people currently living with dementia. I know this now more than ever as a staff member that gets to see firsthand how much our programs and services can help.
“I walk to be part of the visual support for people living with dementia and their families,” says Linda Bird, Director of Programs and Services. Linda has been a walk participant for over a decade and see’s it as an important event for families. “We know that a diagnosis of dementia can cause family and friends to fade away over time. Getting together for the walk, with hundreds of others lets people know there is support from many different fronts, and “WE” care. And that’s uplifting!”
During these strange and unusual times, the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia has stayed open to help people with dementia, their partners in care, family members and friends, because we know that in a time of physical distancing, our connections to others matter. The IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s is another time that although we are far apart, we as a staff can stay connected to each other and to you. As one staff member wrote, “I walk for my grandmother, my great uncle, and my great aunt. It was so hard to watch them on the dementia journey, but because of the Alzheimer Society there is hope and support.”
Please consider registering at www.walkns.ca
Help our team help more Nova Scotians with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias by donating to our Walk team here.