Today is The Longest Day – Summer Solstice, the day with the most hours of daylight. And on this Longest Day, we are honoring people with Alzheimer’s disease and their care partners for the journey they are on. All across the country, there are teams of people spending 16 hours participating in physical activities to symbolize the endurance required to cope with the disease.
For care partners, any day can be their longest day – it doesn’t have to be tied to the amount of daylight. It takes a lot of time, energy and strength to manage a household, provide transportation, organize a schedule, provide personal care, offer love and hope, create a safe environment, the list goes on, for a person that is losing or has lost those abilities. But our care partners do it every day with love, respect, and dedication. It’s not always a perfect day but, these care partners persevere because they have found ways to cope and manage; they find humor in the day, they allow themselves to cry, they ask for help, they realize their limitations and the limitations of their loved one, and they know tomorrow is another day.
I mentioned that we have teams of people participating in activities on this Longest Day. Teams will divide the 16 hours into strenuous yet manageable chunks. We to have teams cover 18 hours of activity. Care partners don’t necessarily have that luxury; in fact, many care partners don’t have any help at all. If you know someone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, even if they have a team, think about offering help. There are many ways to support a care partner and their loved one: make or bring them a meal, offer to stay with their loved one so they can do whatever they need to do, or call them, ask how they are doing and listen to any and everything they have to say. We have many other ideas here. Help make one of their longest days a bit shorter.
To the care partners out there getting through today, we pay tribute to the dedication, passion, and responsibility you demonstrate day after long day. Today, we’re celebrating you by featuring several of your stories on our blog today – stories from spouses, children, professionals: Caregivers. On this Longest Day, we hope you feel the support of thousands of people challenging themselves, pushing their limits, in your honor.