Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease

alzheimers Photo

Written by:  Doc Savarese                           

Photos by:  Maureen McGettigan

Drawing by:  Peter Copen

The Oakmont Pickleball Club collaborated with Sheri Woogen (also an Oakmont Pickleball Club member) of the Alzheimer’s Association, in organizing  a fundraising Walk-A-Thon.  The event was also coordinated with Elizabeth Majkowski and Connie Medeiros, who were instrumental in organizing the event.  The event was held on 10/10/20, whereby participants were invited  to walk in small teams of family and friends instead of the typical large group Walk-A-Thon.  

The proceeds of the Walk-A-Thon went towards providing programs and services for individuals and families in need of help.  The Alzheimer’s Association, located in Santa Rosa, provides support services and programs such as education (teaching families about the progression of the disease), treatment strategies, 24-7 help line, and website information (alz.org).

Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive and irreversible disease whose cause is not fully understood, but experts suggest it is both biologically and socially determined.  In Sonoma and Marin Counties alone, there are approximately 18,000 people who are 65+ living with Alzheimer’s Disease.  The onset of the disease can appear as early as in the 30’s up to the mid 60’s.  Early signs are declined cognition such as, word finding, visual/spatial issues and impaired judgement.  So, for my fellow pickleball colleagues, if you find yourself loosing things, often forgetting the score, missing events or appointments, having difficulty coming up with words, and seeing 2 balls, you might need to take notice.

It’s important to note that social factors such as proper nutrition, physical activity, social interaction and engaging in mentally stimulating activities have been associated with ways to maintain good health during the aging process.  

The OPC also celebrated Halloween on 10/31/20 at the pickleball courts located at the East Rec Center.  Most members who showed up at 9:00 am, came dressed in various Halloween costumes.  Goodies were available at the table along with jovial laughter and good will.  Some even managed to get involved in playing pickleball. 

Pickleball Orientation lessons can be arranged by contacting Pauly Uhr at 984-4186 or Nancy Lande at 978-2998.  Loaner paddles are available  for newcomers.

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