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Wingate at Hampden walks the Walk

Wingate at Hampden walks the Walk

When it comes to memory care, Wingate at Hampden doesn’t just talk to the talk — they walk the walk. Wingate at Hampden’s Assistant Director of Nursing Amber Ribadeneyra and the Alzheimer’s Association senior development officer, Bianca Walker, recently appeared live on WWLP’s Mass Appeal to talk about the community’s participation in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s in September.

The skilled nursing and memory care community has started a team of walkers for the event, comprised of staff members, resident, family members and friends from the community. To date, the team has raised over $1,000! Proceeds from the walk will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association and help fund research for a cure.

Finding a cure for the disease may still seem far off, but there is an immediate benefit to this fundraising effort: the camaraderie and awareness it brings to the community.

“Though sometimes they do forget who they are, they’re not forgotten at all,” Ribadeneyra said on Mass Appeal of Hampden’s memory care residents.

On the show Ribadeneyra spoke about the pride she has in the memory care residents for participating in the walk because they’re working to help find a cure for future generations. Healthcare analysts predict that the number of Alzheimer’s patients will rise from the 5.5 million now to 8.5 million by 2030, so Ribadeneyra argues we need to spotlight Alzheimer’s disease and efforts to find a cure now, and the more awareness and understanding the public has about this complex disease, the better.

Though Alzheimer’s primarily affects adults aged 65 and older, it can also afflict younger individuals, so it’s important to know and recognize the disease’s symptoms regardless of one’s age. The ten most common signs of Alzheimer’s include:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • An inability to plan or solve problems
  • Difficulty with daily tasks
  • Forgetting the time, date and place
  • Trouble speaking or writing clearly
  • Frequently misplacing possessions
  • Poor judgment and decision making
  • Withdrawal from social situations
  • Changes in mood and personality

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are steps you can take to actively reduce lifestyle factors that contribute to the disease. Simple preventive measures include maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet rich in brain-friendly foods and exercising regularly. Above all, make sure that as you age, you remain mentally and socially active.

Cognitive and social stimulation are the focus of Wingate at Hampden’s music therapy program — a specialty program that is part of Wingate Healthcare’s The Neighborhood memory care and offered at select communities. Hampden’s music therapy program includes an interactive songwriting group that encourages memory care patients to write and produce their own music, allowing residents to reconnect with their identity and share memories and life stories with one another.
Beyond giving dementia patients the opportunity to connect with their former selves and with others, our memory care programs strive to give residents a sense of purpose — a reminder that their lives are still meaningful.

Whether it’s encouraging memory care residents to write, record and produce their own one-of-a-kind album, or giving them the chance to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and be an advocate for a cure — our communities empower memory care residents to live life to its fullest.

If you’re interested in joining or donating to Hampden’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s team, click here. You can also find walks and teams near you here.