Miami-Area Seniors Raise Awareness for Alzheimer’s Research

CUTLER BAY, FL—According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. This number is predicted to increase to 16 million by 2050 as the baby boomer generation ages rapidly. In response to these staggering statistics, people across the country are coming together in more than 600 communities for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the world’s largest event that raises funds for research into Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

For East Ridge at Cutler Bay resident Mike Commins, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is personal. After his wife of more than 50 years was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, his daughters encouraged him to investigate options that would alleviate the struggles of being a full-time caregiver. After researching communities across the country, he made the decision to call East Ridge at Cutler Bay home for himself and his wife. As Miami’s only true life plan community, Commins could live in a neighborhood setting in independent living, while his wife is cared for in memory support.

“The ability to walk over to see my wife whenever I want, no appointment necessary, is really comforting,” said Commins. “With us both being here, it’s given me my life back.”

The decision to make the move was made easier due to the community offering a state-of-the-art memory support facility that has been shown to decrease residents’ anxieties, while keeping them active and engaged. Even through the fog of her Alzheimer’s, Commins is able to continue visiting his wife nearly every day. “She doesn’t remember me or our daughters anymore,” said Commins. “I’m comforted knowing she’s taken care of by a dedicated and trained team here.”

This year, Commins is joining dozens of other residents and team members at East Ridge at Cutler Bay for a mini-Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The East Ridge Peacocks are aiming to raise thousands of dollars for the cause. The mini walk will take place Thursday, September 8, from 8–11:30 a.m. at the community, which is located at 19301 SW 87th Ave. in Cutler Bay. All are welcome to join and see the beautiful community, as well as the residents’ support of this important cause.

“This walk is a reminder for me and others who have a loved one fighting this disease to never give up and keep looking for what’s best for your loved one,” said Commins. “The care that’s provided here far exceeds what I could have provided by myself. You can’t replace this.”