The Alzheimer’s Association celebrates the longest day of the year as a day to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. The longest day of the year was this past Sunday, June 21. As a way to honor our residents at Swiss Village with dementia and Alzheiemer’s disease, our activities director for our memory care unit Donna Stout chose to spend the day walking and biking for 16 hours. Below are comments from Donna’s experience. We thank her for her time and commitment to raising awareness and honoring our residents here at Swiss Village.
On June 21, the Alzheimer’s Association promoted an awareness event named “The Longest Day.” Being the first day of summer, it’s the longest day of the year, having 16 hours of daylight. The Alzheimer’s Association encouraged people to plan an event to last from 6 am to 10 pm. Well, I wanted to do something for my friends at Swiss Village in Alpenrose. So I told my friends, family, co-workers and church family that I was planning to walk 50 miles during that time and would be accepting donations and pledges for the Alzheimer’s Association. Everyone thought I was crazy. “Do you know how far that is?” they said.
Well, found out how long 16 hours is. I started walking at 6 am, and between miles 13 and 16, I wanted to quit and give up. But God had other plans. He spoke to me and said, “What about the pain Jesus suffered on the cross? What about those men and women you care for, who struggle with memory loss every day? It’s only 16 hours.” The ladies and gentlemen we care for can’t shut off their memory loss after 16 hours. They and others suffering with the horrible disease of dementia, relive events over and over day in and day out. That’s why I wanted to do this walk. But I did relent a bit, and asked my husband to bring my bike to me, where I spent the remainder of the day alternating walking, and riding my bike. I ended up going a little over 60 miles total, 26 walking and 34 riding. I am looking forward to doing this again next year with a much bigger group.
I am still receiving donations for the Alzheimer’s Association. I appreciate everyone who prayed for me throughout the day, brought me supplies, or walked/biked with me, including our Presdient and CEO of Swiss Village Rod Mason and his wife Lori, Holly G. and Jessie G.
Pictured is Holly Grandlinard and Jessie Grandlinard with Donna Stout. This photo was taken at the 50 mile mark.