TOTOWA, NJ – Despite the winter chill, it is never too early to register for The Longest Day®, an annual sunrise-to-sunset event locally organized by the Alzheimer’s Association Greater New Jersey Chapter. This year, Longest Day events are being held worldwide and throughout New Jersey in advance of, on and after June 21, to ignite a global conversation about Alzheimer's disease, brain health and other dementias as part of Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month in June.
Held traditionally on the summer solstice, The Longest Day symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Participants do what they enjoy most – on June 21 or any day of their choice through Aug. 15 – to honor a caregiver, someone living with Alzheimer’s or someone lost to dementia. Together, participants will raise funds and awareness to advance Alzheimer’s Association care, support and research programs.
“In the spirit of The Longest Day, we encourage New Jersey residents and employers – including hospitals and senior living communities – to join us by participating in or hosting an activity – something they like to do or one enjoyed by an Alzheimer’s caregiver, someone with Alzheimer’s or in memory of a loved one,” explained Cheryl Ricci-Francione, executive director of the Greater New Jersey Chapter.
“We invite people of all ages to join the global movement to end Alzheimer’s by advancing research and helping to fund locally based support and caregiver programs,” she said, noting the chapter’s first open-to-the-public event will be held in cooperation with CareOne at Livingston, 76 Passaic Ave. in Livingston, on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m.
To assist all participants – from individuals and teams to local businesses, corporations and organizations – with their fundraising efforts, the Greater New Jersey Chapter provides free recruitment/fundraising marketing tools and guidance. To start or join a team, host an event, register as an individual or to learn more about The Longest Day, visit alz.org/thelongestday orfacebook.com/fightalz.
Currently, the Greater New Jersey Chapter’s community-based educational and support programs are delivered throughout 14 counties each month. Programs are designed to assist people with memory loss, caregivers, healthcare professionals and the general public at an array of host sites, such as public libraries, community centers and senior centers, houses of worship and senior living communities. Free on-site “lunch and learn” programs to assist and educate employees, a large majority of whom are balancing caregiver responsibilities with family and career, also are available to local corporations.
To register for the Alzheimer’s Association Greater New Jersey Chapter’s The Longest Day or for more information, call JoAnne LaPergola at 856-797-1212, ext. 421.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia Facts:
- Worldwide, there are an estimated 47 million people living with Alzheimer's and other dementias
- Alzheimer’s is the nation’s sixth leading cause of death
- More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, including over 200,000 in New Jersey, and this national number is estimated to grow to as many as 16 million by year 2050
- There are more than 15 million Alzheimer’s caregivers, according to the Alzheimer’s Association 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report