West Side News

Alzheimer's Association seeking younger members


The Alzheimer's Association of Central Ohio is looking to recruit more young people to its cause.

The Alzheimer's Association, which offers family and clinical support, education and advocacy in 14 counties for those affected by Alzheimer's, has formed a junior committee to serve as a support for young adults between the ages 20 and 30.

"We're really at a tipping point," said Matt Levering, director of development for the association. "We're seeing more and more folks impacted ... (And) we want people to know there is a place to turn to and tools to help."

Currently, Levering said, around 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's, and that number is expected to swell to 15 million by 2050.

"It's the only disease in the top 10 that can't be cured, prevented or slowed," he said.

It's because of how widespread the disease is that Levering said the association anticipates a strong turnout and effort for the junior committee.

"Many of our members have been touched personally by the disease," Levering said. "These are some of the most passionate people about our cause."

The kick-off meeting of the Alzheimer's Association of Central Ohio's junior committee was held Jan. 31, at the Wine Bistro in Worthington.

"It went really well," Levering said of the meeting. "There's a lot of energy and excitement."

The plan for the junior committee, Levering said, is to pursue an agenda of fundraising, advocacy and volunteerism. A number of different activities and programs will be planned throughout the year.

"Members will have the opportunity to go to nursing facilities and long-term care facilities to see first-hand and work directly with the ones directly impacted by the disease," Levering said. "Moving forward, we'll be meeting monthly (at different locations)."

On Feb. 7, members of the junior committee visited First Community Village to socialize with the residents of the retirement community.

The next meeting will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 21, at the offices of the association, 1379 Dublin Road. The group will also have a social function at 6 p.m. Feb. 21, at the Columbus Brewing Company, 525 Short St.

Membership is free and open.

"It's a great, grassroots effort to build a pipeline of folks to help spread the word," Levering said. "It's a unique type of support group. ... We're really, really excited about it."

More information about joining the junior committee is available by contacting Levering at mlevering@alz.org.

More information about the Alzheimer's Association of Central Ohio is available at alz.org/centralohio.