EDWARDSVILLE - Home Instead Senior Care in Edwardsville is hosting an event to commemorate the Longest Day, a fundraiser sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association.

Home Instead’s Longest Day event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 21, at the Main Street Community Center in Edwardsville. Many healthcare agencies will be there to provide information on dementia care and caregiver support. They will also be encouraging donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, which is the leading organization on Alzheimer’s disease care and research.

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“I think the one thing that we all are hoping for is a cure,” Nikki Bishop, the owner of Edwardsville’s Home Instead branch, said. “But in the meantime, it’s being able to support each other with patience and compassion.”

The Longest Day takes place every year on June 21, the summer solstice. According to the Alzheimer’s Association website, the solstice is “the day with the most light” and therefore a great day to “fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s.”

There are fundraisers and events planned throughout the country to commemorate the Longest Day. At the Home Instead event, healthcare professionals will answer questions about local services and offer support to caregivers. A vendor with Park Lane jewelry will also be present; she plans to donate 50% of the day’s proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Bishop hopes that the event will allow professional caregivers and people who have become caregivers for a loved one to “educate themselves, take a little break and be able to talk with other individuals that maybe are experiencing the same thing.” Camille Naud, a Home Instead worker who specializes in dementia care, added that the Longest Day event will hopefully increase awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.

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“Nobody wants to think of end-of-life [care]. Nobody wants to think that there might come a time when you don’t remember what you did or who you were,” Naud said. “Once we get to this point, there really aren’t any solutions. There are no easy answers. It really does take a community.”

Bishop noted that Alzheimer’s disease affects both the patient and the family, and she encouraged people to check in with caregivers and give them breaks when possible. While the Association works toward finding a cure, she hopes services like Home Instead can provide care and comfort.

“The family may be suffering knowing that their loved one is changing, but that person themself is not experiencing, maybe, the best life that they want because their journey has been changed by the disease,” Bishop said. “So it’s twofold: trying to figure out how to support that caregiver, but also have the client, the family member, have the best journey possible. What are those things that we can do to enhance their lives?”

These conversations will be part of the Home Instead event. Bishop and Naud encourage anyone who has been affected by Alzheimer’s disease to attend. Additionally, they advocate for patience, compassion and support for both caregivers and patients.

“Just love with all your heart,” Naud said. “Love with all your heart, because these folks actually just really need it. They need your patience. They need your love and your nurturing.”

More information about Home Instead in Edwardsville can be found at their website. You can visit the Alzheimer’s Association website or contact Bishop to donate to the Association. To learn more about the Association’s Longest Day fundraiser, click here.

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