ALBUQUERQUE ― People around the world, including numerous teams in New Mexico, will participate Friday, June 21, in The Longest Day, the Alzheimer’s Association’s “do-it-yourself” creative fundraiser.
June 21 is the longest day on earth, the day with the most light — the summer solstice. On that day, thousands of participants across the world come together to raise funds to fight Alzheimer’s through an activity of their choice. The theme in 2019 is: “Do something you love, for someone you love.”
The Longest Day symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. This “do-it-yourself fundraiser” encourages everyone to identify an activity to raise funds and awareness to combat Alzheimer’s disease. Participants do what they love – biking, hiking, playing bridge, swimming, knitting, hosting an event or joining a team, to honor an Alzheimer’s caregiver, someone living with Alzheimer’s or someone lost to this devastating disease.
“The Longest Day allows you to get as creative as you desire,’ said Development Director Nika Lawrie of Alzheimer’s Association New Mexico Chapter. “There are many ways to get involved whether you want to plan your own event or sign up as an individual. There is so much to choose from. Some teams take part in trivia nights, movies in the park or yoga. With a little creativity and support from your friends and family, raising funds will be easy and exciting.”
The heart of The Longest Day observance is to use creativity and passion to raise funds and awareness for the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. Together, participants raise funds and awareness to advance the Alzheimer’s Association’s care, support and research programs.
For information on these events, or for ideas on your own fundraising activities and getting involved with The Longest Day, contact Nicolette Garcia at (505).266.4473 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit: www.alz.org/tld.
“And it is important to remember, that an event doesn’t have to take place June 21 to qualify,” Lawrie said. “Events and fundraising forThe Longest Day can take place any time of the year.”
Events like The Longest Day are critical in the battle to end Alzheimer’s. Today, 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, including an estimated 200,000 under the age of 65. By 2050, the total number is expected to rise to 14 million. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the USA*.
Currently, there is no prevention, proven treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s takes a devastating toll – not just on those with the disease, but on entire families. In our own state, 41,000 New Mexicans are suffering from Alzheimer’s. They are cared for by 108,000 unpaid caregivers, many of whom are members of their own families.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest and most impactful nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s and dementia science in the world. Currently, the Association is investing over $165 million in more than 450 projects in 25 countries.
Cognitive Decline is a strong indicator of future dementia, and according to figures released by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, it is a growing burden in New Mexico. As of 2016, 12.5 percent (or 1 in every 8) New Mexicans 45 and older report confusion or memory loss happening more often or getting worse (“subjective cognitive decline”); 33% of those with memory problems live alone, and for those with worsening memory problems, 58.2 percent say it has created “functional difficulties”. Nearly 54% of those with memory problems have not spoken to their doctor or healthcare professional about it. If you feel like you may be experiencing memory issues, speak with your doctor about it.
If you need help, call us. Our 24/7 Helpline is available any time, day or night for support or information at 800.272.3900.
The Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter offers many free services and resources to caregivers and families facing the disease: support groups, care consultations, respite, educational presentations, safety programs, information and referral and more.
We have five branch offices in the state: Albuquerque (Main Office), Santa Fe (Northeastern New Mexico), Farmington (Northwestern New Mexico), Roswell (Southeastern New Mexico) and Las Cruces (Southwestern New Mexico). All offices may be contacted by calling 800.272.3900.
*Source for all statistics: The 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report at www.alz.org/facts.
About the Alzheimer’s Association®
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s®. Visit www.alz.org or call 800.272.3900.