On Oct. 3, a special evening candlelight service took place at St. Mary Church in Elmira. The gathering paid tribute to Alzheimer’s disease patients, both living and deceased, as well as their caregivers and loved ones. The service, presented by Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, was nondenominational and included readings, prayers, hymns and lighting of individual candles. Priests and deacons from the parish helped lead the event.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that erodes the brain’s memory cells, causing gradual memory loss, personality changes, and diminished ability to comprehend and speak. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older — about 10.7 percent of all people in that age category — are currently living with Alzheimer’s-related dementia.