Nearly 55,000 Western New Yorkers battling dementia

Posted at 11:15 PM, Sep 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-14 23:35:13-04

According to the Alzheimer's Association an estimate of about 55,000 Western New Yorkers are dealing with dementia. The disease kills one out of every three seniors.

Doctors diagnosed 58-year-old Dave Gonlag of Kenmore with dementia about three years ago.

Gonlag had to leave his career as an accountant because of the disease. He has not driven since the day he forgot how to get home from his doctor's office.

"I still remember things from high school and college vividly, but a lot of times I'll ask three or four times what day it is," said Gonlag.

The husband and father of four keeps a Fitbit bracelet on his arm. It allows his family to keep track of his whereabouts.

Shelby Edgerly with the Western New York Chapter of Alzheimer's Association said while there isn't a cure or effective treatment right now, the best medicine is having a strong support group.

"It's very hard to watch someone go through this as they progress. But as Dave said there is a lot of help out there. They are not alone in this," said Edgerly.

This weekend, the Western New York Chapter of Alzheimer's Association will hold its "Walk To End Alzheimer's."

It will be Saturday at Delaware Park.

Registration for the event starts at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m.

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