The coronavirus pandemic is causing everyone – and every business – to adapt. We are “social distancing.” We are protecting those among us who are most vulnerable, particularly our oldest citizens and those living with dementia.
“Like others, we had to reinvent what group activities looked like within the COVID-19 restrictions, providing a benefit that was unexpected and beneficial,” said William Swearingen, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for Spectrum Retirement Communities, a sponsor of the 2020 Denver Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
“The simple things became important again,” he said. “Team members and residents reconnected and began to see each other differently. The human connection was redefined in the best possible way.”
While the team at Spectrum prides itself on its performance in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 within its communities, for which it credits both its team members and its residents, Swearingen understands that the healthcare community must take a long view.
“You can’t buy health, but you can support and invest in those working tirelessly to find a cure and bring awareness to a disease that impacts so many lives,” he said. “It’s even more critical in times like these, where COVID has impacted us all, to not give up that commitment.”
Spectrum fully understands the health challenges facing older Americans. It’s estimated that more than 50% of those residing in assisted living facilities have dementia. So, the partnership between Spectrum and the Alzheimer’s Association is a natural one. In recognition of that, Spectrum has joined with the Association to sponsor the 2020 Denver Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
“Working together, Spectrum and the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to bring awareness to the disease,” Swearingen said. “Together, we can redefine expectations and share resources that help families through this journey.”
Spectrum recently invited Amelia Schafer, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado, to join the Spectrum community for a 60-minute virtual conversation for families considering making the transition to memory care for their loved one.
“Amelia provided incredible insight and helpful resources that families navigating a difficult situation found invaluable,” Swearingen said. “When making the decision to move a loved one to memory care, research and expertise go a long way in helping them feel confident and comfortable with this decision and recognizing what’s best for their loved one. Amelia contributed a wealth of knowledge to these families, which is an opportunity they wouldn’t have found elsewhere.”
So, it was a natural decision for Spectrum to sponsor the Sept. 19 Denver Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
“With an estimated 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s this year, it’s too large of a number to ignore,” he said. “Whether you’re personally impacted by this disease or not, this is a cause we all must get behind to find a permanent solution. Now is not the time to waiver in our commitment.”
This year, to ensure health and safety, participants will walk through their communities individually and in small groups on paths and trails. To register for or donate to the Denver Walk, go to alz.org/walk
The Alzheimer's Association leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia.™ For more information, visit www.alz.org or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.