sunset

The summer solstice marks the first day of summer and arrives on June 20. In the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice marks the longest day of the year.

The Alzheimer’s Association promotes the summer solstice and “The Longest Day” with the saying, “The day with the most light is the day we fight,” and encourages the public to join together to raise awareness and funds.

Purple is the chosen color for Alzheimer’s, and people are asked to “Go Purple with a Purpose” throughout the month of June, which is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, and to wear purple especially on June 20. The simplest act of wearing purple can make a positive impact and promote awareness in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders.

There are 47 million people worldwide living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. If no cure is found, that number is expected to grow to 76 million by 2030.

Currently, in the United States there are more than 5.7 million people over the age of 65 living with the disease, which is the sixth-leading cause of death and is the only cause among the top 10 diseases that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed.

Many ideas for getting involved in the activities for The Longest Day are suggested on the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org.

With social distancing the normalcy now, social media platforms can provide a great means of finding support and fostering the movement. For instance, the website is soliciting stories from people affected by the disease worldwide. Stories can be submitted on social media using the hashtag #ENDALZ or #ENDAlzheimers, and these stories may appear on the association’s webpage.

Raising funds can be as simple as making a request on social media, to organizing virtual parties or virtual 5K runs. Individuals can also add a frame to their Facebook profiles by using photos of them and/or their families fighting for the disease and showcasing any fundraising efforts.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many campaigns have encouraged “coming together,” and The Longest Day is a great opportunity for people to do just that by providing emotional support to those who are caregiving for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia-related disorders and also all those affected by the diseases. Have a meal delivered to a caregiver, send a card, make a phone call or contribute to a favorite Alzheimer’s charity in honor or in memory of a caregiver.

For those affected by the disease, a personal visit (with necessary precautions), or perhaps a FaceTime or Zoom call would help in not only giving them needed support but also to encourage a sense of well-being and self-esteem for the individual.

On June 20, thousands of participants will come together to bring needed awareness and to provide financial contributions to support all those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Information to participate nationally can be viewed at alz.org or locally at alzbr.org.