A team from Moldaw Residences participated in the San Jose Walk to End Alzheimer’s Oct. 10 at Arena Green. The nationwide event, which involves more than 600 community walks at the local level, is the world’s largest to raise awareness of and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
Residents, their families and staff members at Moldaw were eager to engage in San Jose’s effort to support Alzheimer’s research. The disease currently ranks as the sixth-leading cause of death. The team members from Moldaw included memory support residents, who said they enjoyed the positive impact of being involved in the efforts to spread the word about a disease that impacts them each and every day. Staff members accompanied them on the walk, and several independent living residents participated as well.
Dr. Bob Lichtenstein, 88, who formerly lived in Los Altos and is now a memory support resident at Moldaw in Palo Alto, participated with the team.
“My dad, or as everyone at Moldaw calls him, ‘Dr. Bob,’ spent his life studying the brain and the mind as a neurosurgeon,” said Dr. Bob’s daughter, Barbara Lichtenstein, a first-grade teacher at Gardner Bullis School in Los Altos Hills. “With his complete understanding of what was happening to him as he lost his recent and long-term memory, and eventually some of his language, he did everything he could to stave it off.”
According to Barbara, the Alz- heimer’s Association’s research is “supremely” important, because so many members of the community are living much longer.
“Yet we continue to lose wonderful and intelligent people like my father to this terrible epidemic,” she said.
Gathering with purpose
Dr. Bob first moved into Moldaw as an independent living resident five years ago before transitioning to the memory support unit, where he has been able to age in place with care from the same people he knew as an independent living resident. He walked with some of them at the recent event.
“I like to give any help wherever I can, and Alzheimer’s is worth it,” said Adele Tarran, an 84-year-old independent living resident of Moldaw who participated with her community’s team in this year’s walk. “Alzheimer’s is an epidemic that has no cure and deserves all the attention we can give it, especially when we can help draw that attention by being active with a group of like-minded people.”
According to Tarran, she has participated in the event in the past and was happy to have an opportunity to gather with such purpose and energy along with other members of her Moldaw community.
“The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s calls on participants of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future for millions,” said Kevin Hogan, executive director of Moldaw Residences. “It’s especially exciting for us to be able to participate by sending a team that includes members of our community who are as eager as we are to help find answers. It also offers some of the key elements essential to good brain health, namely exercise and socialization – in this case on a grand level with our collective San Jose community.”
The annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s draws more than 450,000 participants in a display of combined strength and dedication in the fight against the disease. Participants raise funds to contribute to the Alzheimer’s Association’s threefold mission to eliminate Alzheimer’s through advancement of research, provide enhanced care and support for those affected and reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
“I’ve always valued my active lifestyle – it’s just so good for the body, from head to toe,” Tarran said. “I’m fortunate enough to still get to enjoy pursuits like this Walk, in which I can also dedicate my efforts, among friends, to furthering Alzheimer’s research.”
Moldaw Residences is located at 899 E. Charleston Road, Palo Alto. For more information, call (800) 873-9614 or visit moldaw.org.