Dementia Auckland has made the difficult decision to cancel its Steps for Dementia 5km fundraiser walk on Sunday 14 March due to the latest Level 3 lockdown.
This means the organisation has now been unable to hold any of its annual fundraising events for more than a year, severely impacting its income and compounding an already overwhelmed not-for-profit service provider.
Martin Bremner, Managing Director of Dementia Auckland, says the organisation will still go ahead with the online components of the Steps for Dementia campaign, which has been launched as part of Brain Awareness Month this March.
“It’s sad we’ve had to cancel the walk event, but we purposefully designed many of the elements of this campaign to be digital and essentially ‘Covid-proof’. We are also still going to encourage people to take on a walking challenge within their bubbles in their neighbourhood if the city stays at Level 3, or worse,” he said.
This past year has been particularly tough on the dementia community living in Auckland, who were some of the hardest hit by Covid-19 and the various lockdowns, especially in rest homes and dementia units. This has made critical the need for the services of Dementia Auckland, in particular the Living Well Groups for people living with dementia. These groups received no funding from the government or DHBs.
The Steps For Dementia campaign encourages people to take steps towards their own brain health for the month of March, which might be in the form of physical steps by going for a daily walk, quitting alcohol, ditching sugar or committing to sleeping at least 7+ hours per night.
People can promote their activity online to raise funds towards a goal of $144,000, which Dementia Auckland has committed to continue providing the Living Well Groups for people living with dementia across Auckland.
“By taking steps today to boost your own brain health, you’ll enable us to continue to deliver and expand the walking, art therapy, singing, dance and gym groups we run,” said Bremner.
“The Living Well Groups provide a sense of joy, triumph and friendship, boosting the mood and wellbeing of people living with dementia and those who care for them full time.
“If you know someone who has dementia, or if you feel compelled to do your part to support us, please know that it’s not too late to register, jump online and sign up to one of our many brain health boosting activities today – your brain will thank you for it.”
Visit stepsfordementia.nz for more information and to register.
Anyone concerned about changes in memory or dementia are encouraged to get in
touch with their GP, health professional or call Dementia New Zealand’s helpline on
0800 433 636.