Milwaukee – On June 20, 2020 – the summer solstice and the day with the most light – Wisconsin residents will join advocates across the world to participate in The Longest Day ® to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through a fundraising activity of their choice. Together, they will use their creativity and passion to raise critical funds and awareness to advance Alzheimer’s Association ® care, support and research programs. The event coincides with Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month ® in June. This year, given the COVID-19 crisis, many of The Longest Day participants will choose to support the event “virtually” through “at-home” and “social-distance” activities — biking, hiking, baking, knitting and more – to shine a light on the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and the more than 16 million family members and friends providing care and support. “Fundraising during the current COVID-19 crisis presents a unique opportunity for communities to join together “virtually” while staying physically apart,” said Dave Gram, Executive Director, Wisconsin Chapter, Alzheimer’s Association. “We are so grateful and inspired by our passionate participants who are finding creative “virtual” ways to support The Longest Day to further our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.” Laurie Lamp in Menomonee Falls is hosting a Bike Ride for family and friends on June 20th . Laurie’s mother Donna lost her battle with dementia on May 26th, 2020. “If dementia doesn’t affect your family, you don’t know how bad it is. We need to bring awareness to this terrible disease,” says Laurie. “My mom’s favorite pastime was biking with dad on long bike trips across Wisconsin, so on The Longest Day we ride as a memorial to mom and all those affected by memory loss.” Her team, The Brain Gang, will end their ride at the The Auberge at Oak Village in Menomonee Falls, where her mother was a resident. They plan to do a balloon release in her honor. Vesta Senior Network in Milwaukee is hosting The Virtual Shortest Run for the Longest Day, a .0620 mile run that will be held on 06.20.20. The length of their race is significant, as June 20 th represents the longest day of the year, “This year more than ever, critical funds are needed to support the Alzheimer’s Association,” says Pam Foti, Co-Owner and Elder Care Consultant. “We have seen the devastating impact that the isolation has had on those with the disease, as well as those who love them. The Alzheimer’s Association has had a significant increase in calls to their helpline, and they have created virtual support groups. They are reaching people they have never reached before!” Statistics:  Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Between the years 2000 and 2018, deaths from Alzheimer’s increased by 146%.  Every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s.  More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and more than 16 million family and friends are providing care and support.  In Wisconsin alone, there are more than 120,000 people living with Alzheimer’s and more than 195,000 family members and friends caring for them.  There are 5.8 million seniors age 65+ living with Alzheimer’s in 2019. By 2050 – that number is expected to nearly triple to 13.8 million.
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