The Longest Day event for alzheimer’s disease awareness held on summer solstice

Sandra Cole, a special assistant at the Employee Wellness department, makes sure the snacks are well-stocked during The Longest Day event held at the Recreational Fields near Stewart Hall on June 21, 2019. 

Rachel Karas

Kent State staff, faculty and Kent community members gathered to play games, get active and bring awareness to Alzheimer’s disease at the second annual The Longest Day event on Friday.

The event was put together by the Alzheimer’s Association, the departments of Recreational Services and Employee Wellness as part of the Kent State Employee Wellness program.  

“It’s part of our awareness around elder care services, raising awareness and funds … for the Alzheimer’s Association,” Director of Employee Wellness Kimberly Hauge said. “Every year we try to do a series of different events and lunch and learns and different activities around elder care, dementia, memory loss, what that looks like and also the resources that the university provides to help families through that, help their employees and staff members as well.”

According to the The Longest Day website, the day began at 6:15 a.m. with sunrise yoga and ended with sunset yoga at 8 p.m., with various other activities offered throughout the day. 

One of the events was a Field Day where participants played games such as corn hole, giant jenga and ladder golf while having questions answered by IMPACT solutions eldercare specialist Kelsey Loushin.

Accounting specialist at Recreational Services Jan Rader has worked at the university for roughly 18 years and is very glad to see an event like this being held.

“I like all of the things the wellness initiative has, but I like the creativity and coming up with ‘The Longest Day’ and activities that go from sunup to sundown,” she said. “I think it’s a good idea and it makes for a healthier campus.”

With all of the things offered throughout the day’s activities, some people like Marcy Schulman, the Alzheimer’s Association Signature events coordinator, hopes people gain more knowledge as well.

“Alzheimer’s affects people … typically at an older age but it affects the whole family. So it’s really important for us to get people involved, to raise awareness that it’s not just older people that are affected by this,” she said. “We are constantly trying to raise awareness that we have a lot of free programs and services available to everyone.”

Rachel Karas is the editor of KentWired. Contact her at [email protected]