Richmondite Sharon Tong isn’t a professional hiker, but she’s inviting residents to climb the legendary Grouse Grind with her to support people with dementia.
Although a simple event, the hike is meaningful for many families, said Tong, who works as a support and education coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.
“It can not only provide an opportunity for Richmondites to explore the beauty of our province but also help raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. to support people living with dementia,” said Tong.
Richmondites who are more interested in visiting local trails are more than welcome to do so as well, added Tong.
“We hope to see more people come together to send a message to individuals or families living with dementia that you aren’t fighting alone.”
The Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s annual fundraiser, the Climb for Alzheimer’s, is in its tenth year and it will be launched Sept. 1 and run until Sep. 21.
To make some people feel comfortable in the midst of the pandemic, the event has been shifted to a hybrid model this year, including providing a chance for participants to “climb” virtually.
According to the Alzheimer Society of B.C., there is an estimated 70,000 British Columbians living with dementia.
Tong explained that people diagnosed with dementia are likely to experience a range of emotions, including grief, loss, anger, and isolation, and the pandemic has even made these feelings worse.
Jen Lyle, the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s Chief Executive Officer, said now more than ever, they are pulling out all the stops to make sure British Columbians affected by dementia can access the support they need.
“The majority of our funding comes from the generosity of the community: committed individuals and organizations who support us through events such as the Climb for Alzheimer’s,” said Lyle.
Participants interested in the Climb for Alzheimer’s can register as individuals or as a team and are also encouraged to share their climbing experiences online. Another option is they can join the Grouse Grind hike in person with Tong on Sept. 19.
For more information, visit https://alzheimer.ca/bc/en/whats-happening/news/join-us-summer-10th-annual-climb-alzheimers.