June 21, 2022
As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.Mary Anne Radmacher
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, when those whose lives have been touched by memory-impairing diseases come together and raise awareness through education and support. This month includes June 21st, the summer solstice and the longest day of sunshine and light during the calendar year.
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect over five million individuals in the United States alone. If we continue this current trajectory, this number is expected to triple by the year 2050. The impact of Alzheimer’s on individuals and those who love them is astounding. Memory, personality, problem solving, safety awareness, decision making, relationships – all these things and more are affected through no fault or choice of the individual. For families, this can feel like a loss that never seems to end.
While dementia is incredibly challenging for everyone involved, there are ways that each one of us can bring light to the darkness.
The Longest Day is the day with the most light, the summer solstice. On June 21st, people from across the world will fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through a fundraising activity. It’s the day we raise awareness and fight the stigma associated with this disease.
This day is meaningful to me as a Memory Care Director because I see first-hand how devastating Alzheimer’s can be. I watch as this disease steals the minds and eventually the bodies of my residents, as families “lose” the loved one they once knew, and they are at a loss as to how to deal with what is happening. We can sit back and do nothing, or we can get involved. We can raise money for Alzheimer’s awareness, donate to a fundraiser, join an Alzheimer’s walk, or share your story with others that are just starting this journey. We as health care providers, caregivers, loved ones, friends and neighbors can fundraise for future research and celebrate the lives of those affected by the disease.
We will be celebrating The Longest Day at The KentRidge Senior Living Kent, OH. Since the color for the Alzheimer’s Association is purple, we will all be wearing that color for the day. Purple was chosen because of the combination of the calming stability of blue and the passionate energy of red. I think the day will be fun; a day filled with music, smiles, laughs, and love. I plan to invite families to stop in during the day to exercise with us, frost a cupcake or cookie with purple icing, or be creative with a craft. We want to encourage a connection with our residents, their loved ones, and our staff.
I am always looking for a family member to host or help with an event. Pauline’s daughters and granddaughters have hosted tea parties, Christmas parties and crafts. Her sons have helped us with vegetable plants for our garden. Pauline’s great granddaughter brought in her keyboard and played for the residents. Elizabeth’s son brings good dirt from his farm for our raised garden bed. He also brought in his horse and his sister in law’s mini horse for a visit. He and his wife come as Santa and Mrs. Claus at Christmas each year. Mina’s sister loves to visit and chat with the ladies and was part of a Spa Day. We did manicures, sugar rubs, and hand massages. Jim’s wife visits residents along with their granddaughter and great grandchildren. For us to be able to fuss over a five-month-old baby or play catch with a four-year-old is amazing! You can share a talent, help with your time, or just show you care; it doesn’t take much to make a difference in the lives of our friends in our Neighborhood.
Let’s join as communities throughout this month to honor, love, and support not only those living with dementia, but their families as well. If your life is personally touched by this disease, we are here for you.
The KentRidge Senior Living in Kent, OH offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near University Hospital Portage Medical Center with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Sunny Hill Golf & Recreation Inc, Stow-Kent Shopping Center, Kent State Univeristy Museum, The Portage Hike & Bike Trail, and Mad Cap Brewing Company.
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