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helping the cause

Positive Thinking Fights

Alzheimer's Disease
Submitted by Lutheran Hillside Village

esearchers from East Finland University conducted a study

over the course of eight years that found a positive correlation
between cynicism and dementia. There were 622 individuals
who participated in the experiment, and of them, those scoring high for
pessimism and mistrust developed cognitive impairments three times
as often as those who didn't.
In other words: positive thinking fights Alzheimer's disease.
Of course, don't tell that to the thousands of people who participate
in the Walk to End Alzheimer's each year. As a community, they have
been getting by on prayer and optimism for decades. That's because,
unlike with cancer or heart disease, Alzheimer's has no success stories.
There are no Alzheimer's survivors.
Of the top 10 causes of death in the United States, Alzheimer's is
the only one on the list with no means of preventing, stopping, or even
slowing the progression of the disease.
That's what makes Walk Day so important. At any given Walk to
End Alzheimer's event, you see a whole spectrum of people. Some are
living with the disease. Some are living with someone who is living with
Page 40 Healthy Cells Magazine Peoria July 2014

the disease. Many have lost someone. Many more are in the process
of losing someone as the disease takes hold.
What binds all these people together is hope for a future without
Alzheimer's. That's why, during the summer, you start to see roadblocks and bake sales, trivia nights, and car washes. To support the
Alzheimer's Association, tens of thousands of Americans put their
money, and their muscle, where their mouths are, rolling up their
sleeves to raise funds for research, and to support programs that help
families living with Alzheimer's.
And make no mistake there are a lot of families living with
Alzheimer's. Right now, there are as many as 5.1 million cases in the
U.S. alone. And now that the Baby Boomers are reaching retirement
age at a rate of 10,000 every day, is it any wonder that health officials
are predicting Alzheimer's to be the preeminent health crisis of the 21st
If you have family members over 65, they're at risk for Alzheimer's.
If they have family members with the disease, their risk doubles. If they
are female, their risk triples. This is a disease that affects all of us.

And positive thinking only gets us so far. We all want a world without
Alzheimer's, but the world could use your help. Here are four ways you
can pitch in.
1. Collect donations for the Alzheimer's Association.
Ask your friends. Ask your co-workers. Ask your family. Even if all
you get is five bucks, that's five bucks the cause didn't have before.
Visit to find all kinds of online tools to help you "make the ask".
2. Host a fundraiser.
Feeling a little more ambitious? Work with your church or service
organization to put on a fundraising event. Quarter auctions, walkathons, spaghetti dinners... there are all kinds of ways to turn a little
effort into a lot of dollars for Alzheimer's research. You'll also find a lot
of local businesses who are eager to help support your efforts with
donations of materials.
3. Sign up for TrialMatch.
A relatively new division of the Alzheimer's Association, TrialMatch
helps match volunteers with researchers who are developing new
Alzheimer's treatments. Even if you're symptom-free, you can still take
an active hand in working toward a cure.
4. Create a walk team.
The Walk to End Alzheimer's is coming to Peoria's Liberty Park on
Sunday, October 5. Sign up today at Start reaching out to your
friends and family. Show up at the park. Share your hope.

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And most importantly: think positively. With a little effort, we can

make sure the end of Alzheimer's starts with us.
Lutheran Hillside Village looks forward to a future without Alzheimer's, but until then, we work to create homes for older adults with
cognitive impairments in our Memory Care neighborhoods. To learn
more about how we help seniors with memory issues, visit or call Ellyn at 309-689-9605.

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July 2014 Peoria Healthy Cells Magazine Page 41