Lafayette-Oxford-University Community to Observe World Alzheimer’s Day Sept. 21

 Events include reception to kick off fundraiser walk scheduled Oct. 31

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi faculty, staff and students, as well as members of the surrounding community, are urged to observe World Alzheimer’s Day Monday (Sept. 21) by pledging to support an Alzheimer’s fundraiser scheduled next month.


The Oxford Alzheimer’s Memory Walk Kickoff reception begins at 5 p.m. at University Museum, Fifth Street and University Avenue. Ian MacDonald of Jackson, director of development in the Mississippi Alzheimer’s Association, is the guest speaker.

“Memory walks are the nation’s largest events to raise awareness and funds for care, support and research to end Alzheimer’s,” said Jo Ann O’Quin, UM professor of social work. O’Quin is a founding member of the Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group and on the Board of the Mississippi Chapter of Alzheimer’s Association.

The Oxford Alzheimer’s Memory Walk begins at 9 a.m. Oct. 31 on the Ole Miss campus, at a location to be announced, and culminates with dedication of the “Bardo of Rose” sculpture, an abstract piece that honors those touched by Alzheimer’s diseases, located on the grounds of University Museum. Walk participants typically register in teams of 10 to 12 members and raise funds using a variety of projects and tools supported by the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Team captains and those interested in learning more about the event are encouraged to attend the kickoff,” said Bill Arnold of Oxford, co-chair of the Memory Walk. “Even if someone cannot participate in the walk, individuals can join teams to assist in fundraising and awareness”

Observed Sept. 21 each year, World Alzheimer’s Day is the day all Alzheimer’s organizations concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and other dementia. Progressive and irreversible, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a group of disorders that impair mental functioning.

It is estimated that about 5 million Americans and 53,000 Mississippians suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, with about 360,000 people newly diagnosed each year.

“Every 70 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s,” O’Quin said. “Alzheimer’s costs more than $148 billion each year in direct and indirect costs and creates huge burdens for caregivers.”

The disease typically affects about 10 percent of people ages 65 and older, and the prevalence doubles roughly every 10 years after age 65. Up to half of the population ages 85 and older may have Alzheimer’s. Because the population of the U.S. is aging, the number of people with Alzheimer’s is expected to continue to increase unless something can be done to stem the rise.

“Alzheimer’s is a global fight,” O’Quin said. “By working together, we can win.”

To sign up and for more information about the Oxford Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, contact O’Quin at 662-915-7199 or, or Arnold at 662-719-2954 at

For more information about the Mississippi Alzheimer’s Association, visit For assistance related to a disability, call 662-915-7236.