(HELENA) June 21 is the summer solstice, the day with the longest hours of daylight in the year. In Helena, Touchmark took that opportunity to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.
Caregivers and residents of Touchmark’s Sapphire and Garnet memory care communities handed out carnations to people at the Lewis and Clark Library and on the Helena Walking Mall. The 200 flowers were colored purple, the color of the Alzheimer’s Association.
The Alzheimer’s Association celebrates the “Longest Day” as a day to support Alzheimer’s research. It symbolizes the light of the summer solstice fighting the darkness of Alzheimer’s.
Nanette Whitman-Holmes, Touchmark’s life enrichment and wellness director, said the “Longest Day” is also a reminder of the long and difficult work of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia.
“Caregivers do a really hard job every day, and every day is a long day for those that are caring for a loved one with dementia,” she said.
The Alzheimer’s Association reports about 50 million people worldwide live with the disease, including about 5 million in the U.S.
“It’s an epidemic, and we need to work on that cure,” Whitman-Holmes said.
You can find more information about the Alzheimer’s Association’s Longest Day efforts on the organization’s website.
Helena-area advocates will also raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s research in September with the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Carroll College. You can find information about the walk here.