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The Longest Day: Joining Together To End Alzheimer’s Disease

On June 20, we experience The Longest Day – also known as the summer solstice. This is the day of the year when we experience the most daylight, and it’s also the day that thousands of participants from across the world gather to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s disease. 

“Dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease, is an incredibly important issue facing our nation’s seniors,” says Ashley Lodi, Executive Director of Azpira at Windermere, an Assisted Living and Memory Support community providing thoughtful and award-winning care to seniors. “Today, one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. It kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined, and to date, there is no cure.”

However, there is hope. Events like The Longest Day and other efforts bring people together towards the goal of creating a world without Alzheimer’s and other dementias. 

“June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, making it an ideal time to reflect on the impact that Alzheimer’s and other dementias have had on millions of Americans,” Ashley says. “This month highlights the battle we fight every day, and is also a time for caregivers, friends and families to show their support and become involved in the fight.”

Ashley says that there are many opportunities throughout the year to support Alzheimer’s research and awareness, for example the Ride to End ALZ™ Spring Challenge on April 18 and the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s® that will be taking place this fall. 

“Alzheimer’s affects 47.5 million people worldwide with 7.7 million new cases being diagnosed every year,” Ashley says. “It’s the fifth-leading cause of death for those over 65. “In honor of those fighting Alzheimer’s disease and the people who love them, we will be observing The Longest Day this June 20, 2021. The solstice was selected because dementias like Alzheimer’s are often referred to as the long goodbye, and The Longest Day gives us a chance to rage, rage against the dying of the light through raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research.

“We ask you to join us at Azpira at Windermere by taking a stand on June 20, helping us raise awareness about The Longest Day and assisting us with the fight to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in the next decade.” 

Supporting Alzheimer’s Efforts During Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

On June 20 and beyond, there are many easy ways for family members and friends to help participate in raising awareness for Alzheimer’s research. Although “the day with the most light is the day we fight,” you can find other ways to raise support. While your participation in The Longest Day may look a little different this year due to physical distancing, there are plenty of fun ideas you can do at home to engage family, friends and coworkers. The Alzheimer’s Association® Take Action site also lists several helpful ideas:

1. Become knowledgeable.  

One of the best ways to support the cause of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is to become as knowledgeable and as educated as possible about it. Although many strides have been made over the decades to shed light and understanding on this disease, there are still many misconceptions and myths circling. Many of these can be quite damaging and can actually affect the quality of life for someone with dementia. Learn about the signs of dementia versus natural aging, the various stages of dementias such as Alzheimer’s and how to provide the best support and care in each stage. Remember: knowledge is power!

2. Go virtual.

Social distancing is still in place for many, so virtual fundraising events can be both simple, beneficial and safe. Here are just a few ideas for fun virtual events from the Alzheimer's Association®.

  • Create your own sporting event. Use supplies from around the house to create a virtual “competition.” For example, set up a putt-putt course or a bowling lane with plastic bottles as pins. Have your friends do the same. Over video conference, participants can donate to compete and vote for the titles of MVP, best-dressed player, best-designed course and more.
  • Lead an at-home workout. Host an exercise session over livestream and ask for a donation to attend. Or hold a workout challenge on social media, asking for donations or offer to do something silly if you reach your goal during the livestream. 
  • Host a party. Karaoke, talent show, happy hour, trivia – these days, nearly any party or event  can be hosted online. Hold an “open mic” over video conference and take song requests in exchange for donations. Or host a Netflix watch party and ask participants to donate an approximate amount to what they’d usually spend at the theater.
  • Use your skills. Virtually teach a class using something you’ve learned, such as crafts, makeup, drawing, wine tasting … the sky’s the limit. Ask for a donation from attendees, or auction off the items you create to the highest bidder. 
  • Play a game. There are many different games that can be played online these days. Host a bridge, video game, board game or puzzle competition online and ask participants to make a donation to play. 
  • Fundraise without an activity. You don’t have to have a “thing” in order to raise money or Alzheimer’s awareness. Simply set up a fundraising page and accept donations in honor of a loved one. You can even tie your event into an upcoming milestone like a birthday, graduation, wedding or anniversary.

3. Do your part to raise awareness. 

The more people who know the facts about Alzheimer’s, the more people will care. Here are some ways to help raise awareness on The Longest Day and every day. 

  1. Wear purple. Purple is the official color of The Longest Day® and is a great way to show your support. You can order specially designed #ENDALZ merchandise here
  2. Make a donation. Every dollar you donate will help benefit people living with Alzheimer’s in your community.
  3. Visit a loved one. If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, take time to visit them and help create meaningful moments. 
  4. Participating in a Local Walk to End Alzheimer’s®. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is a national event that raises awareness and funds to #ENDALZ. Locate a walk in your area by going to the Walk homepage. Walk by yourself, create a team or find an existing team to show your support.  

“With the support of people like you and the combined efforts of volunteers, researchers and community members, we will eventually find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” says Ashley. “Until that day, all of us at Azpira at Windermere will continue to provide our residents with the latest in dementia therapies, personalized and loving care and purposeful lifestyles that allow our residents to Live Well, Age Well and Be Well.”

Live Well. Age Well. Be Well.

At Azpira at Windermere, located in Windermere, FL, we’re redefining how older adults Live Well. Age Well. Be Well. Our lifestyle is far from “typical.” Our vibrant and engaging Assisted Living and uplifting A Knew Day® Memory Support inspires our residents to live passionately with purpose, every single day.

Step outside your apartment and you’ll experience a community offering thoughtful and award-winning VIVA!SM programs that are proven to enhance your life spiritually, mentally and physically. Azpira at Windermere’s team of specially trained wellness professionals are passionate about building unique relationships with every resident and guiding older adults as they set new goals, forge new relationships and live life at their own pace.

Azpira at Windermere is all about creating an environment that is ahead of the curve in wellness, fitness, spirituality, technology and preventative care. As the times and technology are changing, so are we. Residents and their families, along with our Resident Care Manager, will meticulously build a wellness plan that addresses medicine distribution, fitness objectives, nutrition needs and socialization goals.

Get excited about life at Azpira at Windermere. Our team is eager to guide you on the path you want to live – whether it’s enjoying your own city, exploring new ones, spending time with old friends or spearheading a program of your own, this is your time to live the life you want with the luxury you deserve.

To learn more or to schedule a personal visit, contact us at 407-278-8508