LO Celebrates Alzheimer's Association's 'Longest Day'
More than 5.7 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's disease. That includes one in 10 adults over the age of 65, meaning 10 percent of our elderly population is afflicted by this disease.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, the disease has grown by 123 percent over the past decade, making it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
While these numbers seem staggering, there's still hope for those living with the disease, and their loved ones and caregivers through the research, training and education offered by the Alzheimer's Association.
To further the organization's mission to provide support and resources for the millions of Americans dealing with Alzheimer's on a daily basis, the Alzheimer's Association began celebrating "The Longest Day," June 21, the summer equinox as a day to raise funds and show love for those affected by Alzheimer's disease.
On Thursday, June 21, people across the nation will participate in events to bring awareness to the plight of living with Alzheimer's. Whether by running, exercising, playing games, dancing or playing music, millions of Americans will aim to shed light on this disease and raise a few dollars to help promote training and education.
Locally, the City of Lake Oswego has proclaimed the month of June Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, as well as June 21 "The Longest Day."
Organizations and businesses across the town will participate in the event demonstrating love for those affected by Alzheimer's including the LO Adult Community Center, LO Public Library, Home Care Associates, Mary's Wood's Senior Living Community, Palisades Market, the Ace of Clubs Bridge Club and The Springs at Carman Oaks.
For The Springs at Carman Oaks Life Enrichment Director Lisa Oetken, the Longest Day was the perfect opportunity to give back to an organization that has helped her and her residents on many levels.
Whether it's providing educational and training opportunities or participation in the Alzheimer's Association's "Memories in the Making" art program, Oetken, her staff and residents have benefitted hugely from the resources and support of the Alzheimer's Association.
On June 21, Oetken, staff and residents will gather in the parking lot of The Springs at Carman Oaks, 3900 Carman Drive, to host a coffee and donut stand from 10 a.m. to noon, and a lemonade and ice cream bar stand from noon to 2 p.m.
Funds raised will go directly toward benefiting the Alzheimer's Association's mission to increase awareness and knowledge of the deadly disease.
"Their goal is to educate people and be supportive in the community. They want to help people navigate this by offering resources and training, so we definitely want to give back to the Alzheimer's Association. I think they're a fantastic organization." Oetken says.
Oetken and staff learned about the Longest Day events when the Alzheimer's Association came to The Springs for a training event earlier this year.
The Springs staffers Nancy Schwartz and Anjie Lambert brought the idea for a donut and lemonade stand to Oetken who was thrilled with their plan to get residents in on the fundraiser. Oetken then reached out to create partnerships with several local businesses including Donut Land, Portland Roasting and Medosweet Farms.
Oetken was overjoyed to find that each company was more than willing to participate by donating products for The Springs' donut and lemonade stand.
"I know this will be a meaningful day to our residents because they very much enjoy spending time being of service," she says. "I knew (our partners) are aware of the work the Alzheimer's Association does either personally or through their relationship with us. It was so great to hear they were happy to be a part of this event."
Those who stop by for a donut, coffee, lemonade or ice cream bar will get a chance to meet some of the residents and staff at The Springs at Carman Oaks who will all be dressed in their purple and gold volunteer shirts.
Residents in memory care, assisted and independent living will all take shifts working the stand throughout the day, passing out refreshments, taking donations and socializing with guests.
Anyone interested in pre-ordering a dozen donuts or ice cream bars can contact Lisa Oetken at 503-636-3800.
Elsewhere in Lake Oswego, the Ace of Clubs will be hosting a Longest Day bridge tournament at their clubhouse located at 11830 Kerr Parkway on the third floor of the Mountain Park Plaza above Walter Mitty's.
Ace of Club's member and owner of Walter Mitty's Jim Wheeler says the club is excited to be part of the nationwide effort to bring attention to the serious issues that Alzheimer's poses to our society. The club, which consists of about 48 regular players, is one of several in the Portland area that participates by hosting a fundraiser tournament, auction and spaghetti dinner.
"After the game we'll have an auction, and people who come to the club regularly are donating items. It's a really fun day" Wheeler says. "Almost everybody knows someone affected by Alzheimer's so it's pretty meaningful as a fundraising effort."