Each year on the summer solstice (June 21), people around the world gather for “The Longest Day” to pay tribute to the strength, passion and endurance of those living with Alzheimer's. The Longest Day is a sunrise-to-sunset event to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers; those who live the longest day every day. The Alzheimer’s Association encourages people all over the world to form a team and choose an activity – whether it's bike riding, bowling, cooking, NuStepping, playing video games or shopping – and keep at it from sunrise to sunset. Nationally, more than 3,200 teams participated in The Longest Day last year. During The Longest Day on Wednesday June 21, 2017, La Posada residents and associates exercised and kept two NuStep machines going for 12 consecutive hours. NuStep machines are recumbent cross trainers which provide a full-body workout. Residents and associates of La Posada, as well as friends and family, were encouraged to donate any amount of money per hour to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer's. La Posada has raised almost $10,000 for the Alzheimer's Association since 2015.
“Today, more than 35 million people across the world are living with Alzheimer's, including more than five million Americans,” said Rick Minichino, wellness director of La Posada. “In the United States alone, more than 15 million caregivers generously dedicate themselves to those with Alzheimer's and dementia, and these numbers will only continue to rise unless we take action. Together, we can show those facing Alzheimer's they are not alone. We see the impact of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia firsthand as we care for residents in our memory care neighborhood. Your donations, no matter how small, give hope to those affected by Alzheimer's disease.”
Last year, Minichino spent the entire 12 hours on a NuStep by himself. He was able to take a five-minute break every hour only if residents donated 20 dollars during that day to essentially “buy” his break. The NuStepping to End Alzheimer’s challenge was initiated by NuStep Inc., a manufacturer of inclusive recumbent cross trainers, in 2015. This year, NuStep’s goal was to raise $350,000 in 2017, and they have requested that any group, community or organization to join the NuStepping to End Alzheimer's team pledge to raise a minimum of $1,600 and hold NuStepping relay events on June 21, 2017.
“Alzheimer’s Disease is currently the only leading cause of death in the U.S. which cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed,” said Minichino. “We as caregivers are on the front lines of helping those suffering from the disease, and often are the only ones who can advocate for these residents. This is a disease that we hope, with the proper funding and research, can be managed, slowed down, or even cured. My father-in-law passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2016 after a seven year battle. Raising money and awareness will not only help fund the research and development, but it also empowers others to keep their bodies and minds healthy and to get checked early for signs and symptoms. By partnering associates with residents, we hope to raise more money and awareness and do our part in fighting Alzheimer’s disease.”
Startling statistics about Alzheimer’s disease provided by the Alzheimer’s Association:
- Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
- Every 66 seconds someone in the US develops the disease.
- More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.
- One in the three seniors dies from Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia.
- In 2016, 15.9 million family and friends provided 18.2 billion hours of unpaid assistance to those with Alzheimer's and other dementias, a contribution to the nation valued at $230.1 billion.