Bright balloons and colorful kites dotted the sky Sept. 21 above the Olympic Alzheimer’s Residence in Gig Harbor to raise awareness for World Alzheimer’s Day.
Residents and staff used balloons to adorn kites decorated to commemorate the lives of their residents, with a range of motifs celebrating everything from a career at Disney to a lifetime love of the Mariners.
The idea to decorate kites originated with the residence’s Expressions Program manager, said Stacey Serad, community relations director.
“We’re celebrating by flying kites that residents have decorated,” Serad said. “The goal is we learn many things about our residents before caring for them.”
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Residents spent the afternoon in the courtyard with staff, attempting to catch September’s often fickle winds to raise their memories into the sky.
“Alzheimer’s kind of is what it is,” Serad said. “We spend a day remembering those we’ve lost to it and honor those we continue to care for.”
Celebrating its 25th year in the Gig Harbor community, Olympic Alzheimer’s Residence was built in 1990 and operation was taken over by Prestige Care in 1995.
The Expressions memory care program from Prestige is an award-winning and person-centered program used to engage individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia diagnosis, together affecting nearly 5.4 million Americans annually.
President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983.
Olympic Alzheimer’s Residence is located at 3025 14th Avenue NW, Gig Harbor.