June marks Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month – a month set aside to raise awareness and funds to fight Alzheimer’s disease. One of the biggest ways to raise awareness is by participating in The Longest Day – a series of events held on the longest day of the year to honor people living with Alzheimer’s and those that love them.
Learn more about The Longest Day and how you can get involved to make an impact in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
What is The Longest Day?
Alzheimer’s disease is often referred to as “the long goodbye” because of its slow nature and lasting emotional and physical drain. The poem, “The Long Goodbye” written by Ellen Miller about Alzheimer’s disease conveys the lingering pain of the disease.
“It’s been a long time since we first felt the beginning to this end.
And today we pray before you; your family and your friends.
We’ve watched your thoughts get more obscure with every passing day;
As this heartless thing called Alzheimer’s made them fade away.
Gradually it took the gleam from those once so loving eyes.
To befall on such a giving man…it seemed so unjustified.
Stripping you of everything, leaving nothing in its place
Except a look of sadness left upon your face.
As long as we have searched, through all the tears we’ve cried
We’ve tried to find the reason for this long good-bye.
But now it’s time to take back all your memories
As you are finally free from this cruel disease.
We pledge to remember the man that you once were;
A good hearted, giving man is all that will be heard.
And every night when we look up and see a certain star
We will know within our hearts exactly where you are.
So on this day we say good-bye as you now depart.
Although far from our touch, never far from our hearts.”
In honor of people fighting the disease and those that love them, the Alzheimer’s Association hosts a series or collection of events every year on the longest day of the year – the summer solstice. On June 21, 2017, the Alzheimer’s Association has asking people all over the world to participate in The Longest Day and raise Alzheimer’s awareness and funds wherever they are.
How to Participate in The Longest Day
To get started, choose an activity that you love. This can be virtually anything. It can be a party, a day at the beach, a craft night, wine tasting, a community run – anything that you want to do with a group of people. Invite your friends and start fundraising! Ask people for donations or charge an entrance fee – the choice is yours. Plan your day and then send funds raised to the Alzheimer’s Association. To raise awareness, show your event on social media using the hashtags #TheLongestDay and #ENDALZ.
If you’d like to participate and June 21 is not an option, the Alzheimer’s Association welcomes activities throughout the month.
Every dollar raised will benefit people living with Alzheimer’s in your community. The Alzheimer’s Association will use money raised from The Longest Day to provide care and support for people facing Alzheimer’s through their online forums, free helpline and in-person support groups. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Association currently donates more than $385 million to over 2,500 scientific proposals. They also advocate for the needs and rights of people affected by Alzheimer’s including working closely to pass legislation and influence federal policy that addresses the Alzheimer’s epidemic.
How will you raise Alzheimer’s awareness and funds on The Longest Day? Share your event with us in the comments below.
- Celebrating Caregivers During Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
- How to Raise Awareness for Alzheimer’s on The Longest Day
- Raising Alzheimer’s Awareness Through Music