A growing number of Kentucky seniors — an estimated 95,000 by 2025 — are living with Alzheimer’s or some other form of age-related dementia. A significant portion of them live alone, without even a family caregiver to look after them.
Overall, more than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease; another estimated 15 million people are either full or part-time care providers for those with dementia. According to the 2012 Louisville Metro Health Status Report compiled by researchers at the University of Louisville, Alzheimer’s disease is one of the top 10 causes of mortality in Jefferson County and its surrounding suburban areas.
We must call attention to America’s critical needs for better memory care, more research into the causes of age-related dementias and Alzheimer’s, and effective treatments that we hope, one day, will allow us to arrest or even reverse memory loss. And that’s why, every June 21, the Alzheimer’s Association sponsors The Longest Day.
Dementia patients and their caregivers face a long, overwhelming struggle
Occurring on the day that has more hours of sunlight than any other day of the year, The Longest Day symbolizes the challenging journey those living with Alzheimer’s disease have. Just as the sun keeps many of us awake longer on the summer solstice, giving us little rest, there is little rest for Alzheimer’s patients, nor for the loved ones and providers who care for them.
On The Longest Day, the Alzheimer’s Association asks everyone to take time on this day to take action and raise funds that can be put toward finding better treatments for cognitive disorders. The event lasts from sunrise to sunset.
Self-organized teams around the world commit to perform 16 hours of consecutive activity; many receive funding pledges from companies and citizens of their communities, with proceeds donated to the Alzheimer’s Association’s care, support and research efforts.
Teams choose the activities they will perform. There’s no set format. Charity walks, marathon music performances, bowl-a-thons, sitting silent in one place — anything is on the table, as long as the team performing it commits to do it from sunrise to sunset on the summer solstice and to use the event to raise funds and awareness.
At sunset, the activity ceases and teams take time to reflect on how Alzheimer’s affects the lives of so many patients, caregivers, family members and healthcare workers worldwide.
The Longest Day 2017 in Louisville
One of the local Longest Day events you could participate in this year in is a golf tournament, organized by the Greater Kentucky/Southern Indiana chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, that will take place on June 21 at the Fuzzy Zoeller-designed Covered Bridge Golf Club, just across the river in Sellersburg, Indiana.
On The Longest Day, 50 percent of every Covered Bridge player's green fee will go to the Alzheimer's Association. If you can't play on June 21, you can make a donation or sponsor a
golfer who is playing. You can also buy a hole for $125 and place a sign to announce your company's sponsorship or honor a loved one.
To reserve your tee time, click here to book online. Or, call Covered Bridge’s pro shop, 812-246-8880, to book your reservation or make your pledge for this Longest Day event.
Will you be participating in The Longest Day this year?
The fight to find more effective memory care treatments for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients is of course near and dear to us here at Episcopal Church Home, and to our parent organization, Episcopal Retirement Services.
Residents in our not-for-profit Memory Center of Excellence benefit from cutting edge Alzheimer’s and dementia treatments. And we remain deeply invested in finding methods of continually improving the care we can provide them.
We’d like to thank the Greater Kentucky/Southern Indiana chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association — and the national organization as a whole — for all the work they do to promote awareness and fund support services and further research. We’d also like to thank all the teams in Kentuckiana who will participate in The Longest Day this year.
Will you be among them, standing up for Louisville’s Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients, and for their family caregivers?
Search here for a Louisville-area team to join for The Longest Day 2017. Or, form a team and plan your own event for next year!
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Here at Episcopal Church Home in Louisville, residents enjoy just the right level of care they need, wherever and whenever they need it. We provide person-centered, dignified care for seniors, and much-needed peace of mind for their family caregivers.
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