The Alzheimer's Association is sponsoring a daylong event, The Longest Day, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. June 21. The event is held on the summer solstice to honor the strength and endurance demonstrated daily by those with Alzheimer's and their loved ones.
The Longest Day will be held at Kingston Residence Assisted Living, 7515 Winchester Road, and is open to any interested person or groups who would like to participate in a day of fun activities that include knitting and tabletop games.
Suggested games are card games, such as euchre, Mahjong or other tile games, Scrabble or other board games. Knitters and other hand crafters will enjoy a relaxing time on the second-floor sun porch.
The event is held on this day across the country and elsewhere to increase awareness of Alzheimer's disease, the services of the Alzheimer's Association and to raise funds for education, support services, advocacy and research related to Alzheimer's.
Participants choose a theme of activity they enjoy or that has special meaning to them and then invite others to join them.
Local businesses have donated food, drinks and door prizes, and there are additional activities planned. Master's degree in nursing students from IPFW will be on hand to explain information about enrolling in clinical research trials, being an advocate for health care policy and legislation, and to demonstrate tools for assessing brain health and exercises to help maintain brain health.
Alzheimer's Association volunteers will have information about services available in the Fort Wayne area, such as support groups, care consultants and education programs.
Attendance can be for the full 12 hours or any portion of the day. We ask participants to bring their own items needed to do their activity.
Knitters will be given yarn if they wish to knit a project for the Alzheimer's Association but should bring size 7 or 8 needles to use on that pattern and yarn.
Gamers should bring friends or family to have the number of players needed for their game as well as their game supplies, such as cards or their board game.
The Alzheimer's Association volunteers Laura Storie and Jana Powell planned Fort Wayne's first The Longest Day in 2013 and are in charge of this year's event, too.
Storie and Powell both had a personal experience with Alzheimer's with each having had a parent diagnosed who died from the illness. They volunteer their time to the organization in honor of Storie's father and Powell's mother and to help find an end to this illness.
Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and every 67 seconds someone new develops the disease. It is also recognized as being the costliest illness in the United States.
There are approximately 5 million Americans affected by the illness and the numbers affected along with the costs are projected to skyrocket in the coming years.
Please help us find a treatment, cure or prevention for this illness. Donations to the Alzheimer's Association for this event can be made online or in person on the day of the event.
Jana Powell is a volunteer with the Alzheimer's Association. To submit a column about your nonprofit organization or event, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your photograph as an attachment in JPEG (.jpg) format. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.