Line dancing raises funds for Alzheimer’s patient care

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 26, 2021

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RESERVE — The REGALA gymnasium was decked out in purple for Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness during Tuesday night’s “Steppin’ Out and Shapin’ Up” line dance event.

Susan Bailey announced that $642 was raised during the event. Proceeds will benefit Kacen’s Kare, a local in-home care provider that assists individuals and families in the comfort of their own home. Located at 1126 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace, Kacen’s Kare has specialized caregivers who take classes with the Alzheimer’s Association.

Bailey has hosted non-profit line dancing classes in St. John the Baptist Parish for more than five years. Classes are free to the public, and participants enjoy line dancing for a worthy cause. Line dancers in St. Charles Parish raised money for the American Heart Association in February, while dancers in St. James Parish helped raise money for Autism Awareness and Acceptance in April. Bailey said a breast cancer awareness event will be held in St. John in October.

Bailey worked with Michelle Jenkins of the St. John Parish administrative team to plan this month’s event. It was important to Bailey that the proceeds stay within the parish.

Lawrence Garrison, co-owner of Kacen’s Kare, said it’s important to get the word out about Alzheimer’s/dementia and let people know there are local resources. He added that awareness is especially important because individuals in rural and African American communities are less likely to get tested for dementia after they begin showing signs of memory loss.

“We are working with the Alzheimer’s Association to do our best to provide education and resources for people taking care of individuals with Alzheimer’s,” Garrison said. “We were excited to be the recipient of this event. The proceeds will help us continue to build resources in the community and help our caregivers go through training.”

Garrison suggested caregivers visit for helpful resources. The website also has information about the “65 Second Challenge,” which can be used to spread awareness for Alzheimer’s.

Locals can also call Kacen’s Kare at 985-359-5273 for resources or information.

During this week’s line dancing program in Reserve, Cindy F. Long shared some facts about Alzheimer’s disease. According to Long, 3 million people per year are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Memory loss is mild in the early stages, but the disease is progressive, and individuals in the latter stages lose the ability to communicate or respond to the environment.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, their decline may be delayed, and Long said there is a worldwide effort underway to find better ways to treat and prevent the disease.

Also contributing to the Alzheimer’s Awareness event were the Phi Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Both organizations have served the St. John Parish community for more than 20 years.