Letter: Thanks for supporting ‘Longest Day’ effort

To the editor:

One month ago, the Daily Journal reported on the efforts by the residents of our Franklin United Methodist Community to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia through the “Longest Day” initiative. Thank you! In the event that your readers wonder just how exciting an event at a retirement community could be, here is a glimpse into our great day.

As you recall, we had partnered on June 20 with the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Longest Day” campaign along with NuStep Inc. (the maker of our favorite piece of exercise equipment) to create a day of emphasized engagement with our residents with dementia and their family members.

Three residents led in organizing the day, and at least five residents ages 90 to 98 led the enthusiasm and participation in the bake and craft sale, NuStep Relay, performance attendance and in raising more than $1,000 toward Alzheimer’s research. Here are some highlights:

  • One food service staff member stopped me and asked me if I had heard a certain fact she had learned while researching about Alzheimer’s disease. She had taken the initiative to teach herself more about this challenge that so many of our residents face.
  • One family member (living in Florida) posted a Facebook thank-you for the special activities on his father’s Memory Care unit on June 20. Despite being in Florida, he was engaged with what we were doing here in Franklin through our Facebook page.
  • A couple of cottage residents (one with memory challenges) came back to exercise together on the NuStep on Tuesday, June 21 because “we had so much fun doing it on Monday” during the NuStep Relay.
  • At least two or three of our residents with memory challenges participated in the Longest Day as volunteers … helping to offer other residents a great day.
  • Numerous local businesses got involved through sponsorship or even volunteering on campus to bring encouragement to our residents and family members providing long days of support.
  • Oh, and the music was great.

Thanks Daily Journal and everyone else in Johnson County for showing your support to your neighbors facing the “Longest Day” every day because of memory-related diseases.

Jeremy K. Van Deman

Safety and Wellness

Franklin United Methodist Community