June is Brain Health Month. With the variety of fear and angst that we may feel as we age, one of the most worrisome prospects according to recent studies in aging is about developing dementia. Currently in America there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s where it has become the 6th leading cause of death. Every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops the disease.
Where dementia hits us equally hard – as if the illness itself wasn’t enough – is the toll it takes on families and loved ones. Family caregivers spend more than $5,000 a year caring for someone with Alzheimer’s… this may mean missing family vacations for some or as serious as going hungry for others. Alzheimer’s accounts for more than 18.1 BILLION hours of unpaid care provided by more than 15 million caregivers. As a nation it is estimated that the cost of coping with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost us $236 BILLION is 2016!
The Alzheimer’s Association has selected June 20, 2016 for this year’s The Longest Day event. The Longest Day event is held annually on the summer solstice where the duration of this sunrise-to-sunset event symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with the disease and their caregivers. Teams are encouraged to create their own experience as they fund-raise and participate in an activity they love to honor someone facing the disease.
How can you participate?
Grab your friends: Grab friends, family and coworkers to form a team. You don’t have to live in the same city or state – or even the same country! Don’t be nervous to ask others to get involved – you’ll be surprised how many people have been affected by Alzheimer’s and want to join the fight.
Put your passion to good work: Select an activity you love or honor a caregiver, or someone living with or lost to the disease, by selecting his or her favorite hobby. You’re only limited by your imagination. If you’re not sure what to do there are many ideas available in the Team Captain Guide when you register.
Raise money and move the cause forward: Every team is asked to register and raise money to further the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. Although there is a default goal amount when you register, any amount is greatly appreciated.
Plan your day: From sunrise to sunset, The Longest Day stretches 16 hours. Divide the day into segments and ask teammates to cover a portion. If you live in the same area, host an all-day event to cheer each other on. If your team members are in different locations, stay in touch with texts, tweets, and Facebook posts.
Celebrate at sunset: Gather your team – whether in person or virtually – and celebrate your accomplishments while recognizing the strength of those facing Alzheimer’s 365 days a year.
To start your team… visit www.alz.org/thelongestday or call 800.272.3900
YOU Can Make a Difference