BWWMH to hold Alzheimer’s awareness candle lighting tonight

Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital will host a unique program Tuesday night at 6 p.m. when it holds its first Candlelight Tribute for sufferers of Alzheimer’s.

“This was actually the idea of our administrator, Mr. Mike Marshall. We all knew we wanted to do something to raise aware about Alzheimer’s and shine the spotlight on local resources that would be beneficial for those who are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s and would also provide some support for family members and caregivers,” Jeanette Crusoe, director of the Tombigbee Geriatric Behavioral Health Program, said of the event, which will be held on the front lawn of the hospital.

The program will feature music from violinist Beth Ann Mason in addition to the insights and encouragement of guest speaker Ann Curtis, a grief counselor licensed by the American Academy of Bereavement.

“Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, it preys on the brain function in the elderly,” Crusoe said of the disease. “It is a progressive disease that causes memory loss, confusion, and a decline in functioning. There is no cure. Currently,as many as 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, this number is expected to grow to as many as 13 million. Alzheimer’s disease is the fourth leading cause for mortalities in Alabama.”

Those with loved ones afflicted by Alzheimer’s are invited to attend the event, which will also feature a proclamation signing by Demopolis Mayor Mike Grayson. All proceeds from the sale of candles will go to the Alzheimer’s Association to help in the fight against the disease.