Resident Samuel Picazo with (left to right) granddaughter Priscilla Picazo and daughter Phoebe Picazo

On June 21, 2017, Life Care Center of Haltom in Fort Worth, Texas, hosted the Alzheimer’s Association’s fundraising event “The Longest Day of the Year.”

 

All proceeds from the event went toward the fight to end Alzheimer’s.

 

“After attending the Alzheimer’s symposium in March and hearing about this event, I was inspired to be a part of the fight to end this debilitating disease,” said Cassie Granger, director of rehab. “Every little bit of support helps.”

 

This event occurred on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, with the intention to increase awareness of how, for an Alzheimer’s patient, every day can feel like the longest day of the year.

 

Phoebe Picazo, activities director, organized the events of the day.

 

“The event was awesome, and it was so encouraging to see teamwork emerge to make this project such a success,” said Picazo. “We received a thank-you note from the Alzheimer’s Association thanking us for hosting the event. I plan to take the feedback and successes from the event into perspective in order to make next year’s event even better!”

 

The day’s festivities began with a Walk for a Cause. Those in attendance then participated in a balance class with Granger and Zumba® with Bardha Lloncari, volunteer.

 

After working up an appetite, participants lunched with hot dogs and live entertainment. From lunch, they went on to clack their heels in a line dance class with Seville Johnson, central supply clerk, before finding their inner Picasso in a painting class with Phyllis Berg, the facility's social worker.

 

The day’s events concluded with fresh sweets at a bake sale and a silent auction.

 

“It was a very fun and energizing day at the facility, and every participant and observer appeared to enjoy the event,” said Granger. “We were even fortunate enough to have a staff member, Francesca Murray, share her photography talent with us to capture the essence of the day.”

 

Overall, the facility raised $509. Associates were able to present the funds to the Alzheimer’s Association to help the organization raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and engage in further research toward finding a cure.

 

“The day required a lot of comradery and teamwork to be a success,” said Natalie Scroggins, treatment nurse. “As a nurse practicing in geriatrics, it was rewarding to see so many people come together to have fun and involve residents for a greater cause.”

 

The sun finally set after the day’s events had been completed, leaving all in attendance thinking the longest day of the year had indeed not felt very long at all.

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