Touchmark Uses Longest Day of the Year to Spread Alzheimer’s Awareness

Touchmark Retirement Community Spends Sunrise to Sunset Raising Awareness and Funds For Alzheimer's

FARGO, ND — The first day of  summer is the longest day of the year, however for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease most days feel this long.

To raise awareness and funds for the disease, Touchmark Retirement Living Community spent sunrise to sunset hosting their Longest Day Alzheimer’s Awareness effort.

“Forty years ago, everyone was talking about cancer and about how one in three people are going to be touched by cancer,” said Mark Minette, who is the director of Touchmark’s Health & Fitness Club. “Alzheimer’s has been on the rise since they finally diagnosed it. One in five people are touched by Alzheimer’s at some point.”

To spread awareness of the disease, Touchmark had a day full of events for people to participate in including yoga, crafts, and a balloon release.

“It’s all incorporating the seven dimensions of wellness into the longest day and not only working on bringing awareness about Alzheimer’s disease but doing some fundraising efforts to help the research,” said Wendy Schrag, who is vice president of Clinical Services at Touchmark.

Fundraising efforts for the Alzheimer’s Research Association included the NuStep Challenge.

“Every person that rides our NuStep from sunrise to sunset is donating or getting a sponsorship for a dollar a minute for their rides,” said Minette.

Along with a day full of events, Touchmark went out into the community to spread awareness by handing out white carnations.

One Touchmark resident said even though doesn’t suffer from Alzheimer’s, he knows it affects the F–M community.

“We live with Alzheimer’s in our whole community because there’s so many people afflicted with it at our age,” said John Andrist. “I tell people that I’ve prayed for the last seven or eight years that God would let my brain outlast my body.”

And while the goal was to raise awareness, the carnations also brightened people’s day.

“I’ve found that it makes people smile, especially the ladies, so I’m looking for the ladies,” said Andrist. “There’s something about ladies and flowers. They just go together, you know.”

Touchmark holds this event every year on the first day of summer.

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