“The day with the most light is the day we fight!” is the Alzheimer’s Association’s slogan for its annual global awareness event – The Longest Day. Every year on the summer solstice (the longest day of the year), people around the world gather to recognize millions of men and women who are living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers – those who live the longest day every day. Wanting to join the fight against Alzheimer’s, associates and residents of La Posada (a premier senior living community in Palm Beach Gardens), are coming together for a 12-hour NuStep challenge. The goal is to keep two NuStep machines going for 12 consecutive hours. NuStep machines are recumbent cross trainers which provide a full-body workout. In addition, the community’s wellness director, Rick Minichino, is going to carry a 30-pound rucksack on his back as he completes 25 kilometers (in 5-kilometer loops around the community).
“Walking with the 30-pound rucksack on will signify the extra weight caregivers face,” said Minichino. “My family and I have experienced firsthand what it is like to care for someone living with Alzheimer’s, and the task is both emotionally and physically taxing. My father-in-law passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, after a seven-year battle, so this cause is very close to my heart, as well as the hearts of many who live and work at La Posada. In addition to raising awareness, we want to raise $5,000 to contribute to the Alzheimer’s Association in hopes of finding a cure.”
Residents and associates of La Posada, as well as friends and family, can pledge any amount of money per hour to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer's. La Posada has raised more than $15,000 for the Alzheimer's Association since 2015. This will be the senior living community’s fifth year supporting initiatives for The Longest Day.
“The Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging people all over the globe to use creativity and passion to raise funds and awareness for the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Brad Cadiere, executive director of La Posada. “We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of helping them fulfill their mission and hope to touch the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association:
- Worldwide, 50 million people are living with dementia. The number of people living with dementia worldwide is set to skyrocket to 75 million by 2030.
- In the United States, someone develops Alzheimer's every 65 seconds.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
- In 2018, 16.3 million family members and friends provided 18.5 billion hours of unpaid care to people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, at an economic value of nearly $234 billion.
- Of the unpaid Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers, 86 percent have provided care for at least the past year, and half have been providing care for four or more years.
- Nearly 80 percent of older adults with dementia receive help with a daily personal care activity such as bathing, dressing, grooming or eating.
- In contrast, only 20 percent of older adults without dementia need help with these activities.
- One in three Alzheimer’s caregivers provide help bathing or showering, feeding, or getting to and from the toilet – a higher percentage than caregivers for other older adults.
- The annual global cost of dementia is $818 billion.