Bangor Alzheimer’s walk draws supporters

Posted Sept. 26, 2009, at 2:56 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The family of Howland resident Maynard Shute said he knew there was something wrong with his memory long before he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about four years ago.

“He used to say, ‘I think I’m loosing my mind,’” his son-in-law Glenn Braun said Saturday, just before he and a dozen other Shute family members began the 2009 Memory Walk in Bangor. “He’d misplace things. He’d put the gas where the oil goes and put the oil where the gas goes.”

Lauri Braun, Shute’s daughter, added, “We always finished his sentences.”

Shute was recently moved to nursing home in Bangor after being cared for at home by Cecile Shute, his wife of 56 years.

The couple lived “one day at a time,” she said shyly, surrounded by her family.

The Shute family wore purple T-shirts and participated in the Memory Walk as part of the Ross Manor team. Both Ross Manor and Westgate Manor are nursing homes that provide long-term and assisted living health care in Bangor, and are major supporters of the walk.

The walk in Bangor was one of 14 held in Maine on Saturday, said Kristie Miner, chairwoman of the local Memory Walk and employee of Westgate Manor.

“Our goal is to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association,” she said. “There are 37,000 people in Maine with Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association helps provide support and education for their families.”

As the groups of walkers, each wearing different brightly colored T-shirts, headed out, those with Alzheimer’s were invited to stroll around the racetrack at Bass Park with their families or caregivers. This is a new event added to this year’s Bangor event, and is dubbed the Pioneer Walk, Miner said.

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