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The Walk to End Alzheimer's

Armbrook Village Partners with Local Chapter to HostWalk at Holyoke Community College

On Sunday, September 25th, 2022, The “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” will take place at Holyoke Community College. Registration opens at 8:30 AM and the Walk starts at 10 AM. The Walk is important as it raises money for Alzheimer’s research, provides funds for our MA/NH Chapter so they can continue to be a resource, and allows the 24 hour crisis hotline to stay in operation. The Pioneer Valley Chapter is a huge resource to those living in the Valley. Join us this year! Register online through and look for the Pioneer Valley Walk.

What do I need to know about Alzheimer’s Disease and when should I be concerned? First of all, what is the difference between Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia? In simple terms, dementia is a collection of symptoms that affect memory (mostly short-term), behaviors, language, judgment, thought process, cognition and ability to communicate effectively. Dementia is the umbrella term that has 103 spokes, each representing a different type of dementia. You most often hear about Alzheimer’s Disease because it accounts for 60-70% of all dementia cases. There are so many facets of dementia and no two people exhibit symptoms exactly the same way.

As you read this, you may be thinking about family members or yourself and wondering if their/your memory issues are more than normal signs of aging. As we get older, we all have the occasional difficulty finding words. Not remembering someone’s name, that you don’t see often, is normal. Misplacing an item, but having the ability to retrace your steps and locating the item, is normal. And how many times do we walk into a room, not remember why, and then walk out and immediately think, “oh yeah, I was getting the book I left on the couch.” Rest assured, these are all normal signs of aging. 

What isn’t normal is having new problems finding words when speaking or writing. Forgetting things such as appointments, events, or your way around. Stopping in the middle of a conversation because you can’t remember what was just said. Experiencing a hard time making decisions. Showing up to appointments on the wrong date. Withdrawing from social activities because you don’t want people to notice that you are having difficulty. These are symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment, a precursor to a full dementia diagnosis. Today there is no cure, but there are medications that can slow down the progression of the disease. Diet, exercise, genetics, and comorbidities all play a part in the diagnosis. If you feel like this could be you, contact a neurologist, a neuropsychologist, the Alzheimer's Association at 413-787-1113 or Beth Cardillo at 413-568-0000 at Armbrook Village. There is no shame. Ask for help. 

Beth Cardillo, a Licensed Social Worker and Certified Dementia Practitioner, has been the Executive Director of Armbrook Village for the last ten years and  has worked in the dementia field for over twenty five years. Beth was the Western New England Social Worker of the year in 2016; 2019 Friends of the Alzheimer’s Association Honoree of the Year; the 2020 Chamber of Commerce Women of the Year, and the Health Care Community Hero 2021. Armbrook Village hosts an Alzheimer’s support group for caregivers on the last Wednesday of each month from 6-7:30 PM. Please call Beth at 413-568-0000, for more information.