The Alzheimer's Association is sponsoring The Longest Day on Saturday, June 21 from 7 am to 7 pm at the Kingston Residence Assisted Living, 7515 Winchester Road, Fort Wayne. All area residents are invited to attend the daylong event which includes knitting and tabletop games such as euchre or other card games, mahjong and Scrabble as well as other board games. You can knit or play for all 12 hours or come and go at any interval of time that fits your schedule.
The Longest Day is being held in communities across the U.S. and elsewhere. Teams pick an activity they enjoy as their focus for the day. There are 778 teams registered including 10 in Indiana. The event is held on the summer solstice as a way to recognize and honor the strength and endurance living with Alzheimer's requires of those with the disease and their loved ones. For this one longest day of the year the participants engage in activities that will raise awareness of Alzheimer's in their community and also raise funds for education, support services, advocacy and research for Alzheimer's and other dementias. There are over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's and every 67 seconds in America someone new develops Alzheimer's.
Event planners Laura Storie and Jana Powell both had a parent who died from Alzheimer's Disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. In honor of their parents they spearheaded The Longest Day in Fort Wayne last year with a daylong knitting event that approximately 80 people attended. This year they decided to expand the audience and added games as a way to also attract people who do not knit. Powell said, "Laura and I both love to knit but we realized that knitters were a small group of those who have been affected by Alzheimer's or who are at risk of developing Alzheimer's and we wanted to add another activity that would attract a more diverse participation."
Laura Storie added, "We were excited when Kingston Residence welcomed our request to use their beautiful sunroom for knitters and another large and bright room for the game players." Local businesses are generously donating food, drink and door prizes for the team participants during the event and there will be information and opportunities for participants to learn more about the illness and services available in their community. M.S.N. students from IPFW will be there throughout the day to offer Trial Match registering, Advocacy sign up, an optional cognitive screening exam and to demonstrate some examples of brain exercises for promoting brain health.
The Alzheimer's Association has a 24 hr. helpline available at 1-800-272-3900. The Greater Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association has an office in Fort Wayne which provides services to a 9 county northeast Indiana area. There are 12 support groups in this area of the state and many other support services and education opportunities available through the Fort Wayne office.