On June 21—the summer solstice and longest day of the year—we collectively stand up to darkness in an effort to end Alzheimer’s and other memory diseases. Families, friends, communities and organizations all over the world come together on this day each year to raise awareness about the disease as well as funds to research a cure.

More than five million people in the United States are estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s disease, and with that number expected to triple by 2050, it is paramount to increase awareness now.

In an effort to bring more recognition to the disease, The Alzheimer’s Association chose the summer solstice—the longest day of the year—to be the day of a sunrise-to-sunset relay event to support those facing the disease.

On their website, the Alzheimer’s Association says the purpose of the Longest Day is to “Come together to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those facing Alzheimer’s with a day of activity.”

How to Raise Awareness for Alzheimer’s

Although a 16-hour day of raising awareness for Alzheimer’s may sound intimidating, there are many easy ways to take part in the event.
The Alzheimer’s Association recommends five steps to get started:

  • Do what you love to raise awareness—like cooking, gardening or walking.
  • Grab your friends and form a team to spread the word.
  • Remember to plan your day with your team, whether it’s raising awareness together or digitally, if in different locations. Share personal stories or Alzheimer’s facts on social media.
  • Raise money doing what you love to support Alzheimer’s on the Longest Day. Organize a fundraiser within your community or among friends
  • Remember to celebrate at sunset with your team and recognize the accomplishments you made towards bringing awareness to Alzheimer’s

Staying Involved

Even if you can’t participate in the Longest Day, it is important to remember that there are other ways to raise awareness for those facing Alzheimer’s and stay involved.
These include:

  1. Getting educated about Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  2. Talking about Alzheimer’s.
  3. Wearing purple, the official color of the disease.
  4. Signing the “Stop Alzheimer’s” petition.
  5. Volunteering or donating to your favorite Alzheimer’s awareness organization.

Residents and staff at Henry Ford Village are participating in the Longest Day this year by taking turns on the Nu-Step bikes from sunrise until sunset to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s.

For more information on how to register for the event, visit The Longest Day’s website.

Learn more about memory care at Henry Ford Village and how residents here are focused on wellness of the mind, body and soul each day.