The Longest Day: 16 Alzheimer’s Facts to Inspire Action

By: Phyllis Ferrell

One of my favorite things about summertime is the extra hours of sunlight each day. Whether it’s added time at the baseball diamond or an extended dinner outdoors, summer offers families more time to spend outside together. Today marks the summer solstice— a day when we are granted the most sunlight. More importantly, it’s a day that Lilly is proud to join with the Alzheimer’s Association to recognize “The Longest Day.”     

The Longest Day offers us an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for the 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and their devoted caregivers. Today – from dawn to dusk— participants take part in activities they love for the people they love in a global effort to end Alzheimer’s.

In the spirit of the day, here are 16 Alzheimer’s facts—one for each hour of The Longest Day:

  1. It was Dr. Alois Alzheimer’s work that started the global fight against the disease.

    Dr. Alois Alzheimer

  2. One in nine Americans will show symptoms of Alzheimer’s in their lifetime.

  3. Lilly purchased Dr. Alois Alzheimer’s house in 1995 to preserve the legacy of his incredible research.

  4. Early diagnosis and intervention are key to making an impact in the fight to end Alzheimer’s.
    Early Diagnosis Stat

  5. In 2010, Congress unanimously passed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act. Here is an interactive timeline that guides visitors through scientific breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s research.  

  6. Of those living with Alzheimer’s disease over 65 years old, more than 2/3 are women.

  7. From research labs to the halls of Congress, the Alzheimer's community set a goal of preventing or effectively treating Alzheimer's by 2025. Read why collaboration is critical to our success.

  8. Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease.   
    Alzheimer’s Development Stat

  9. In 2003, the Alzheimer's Association partnered with the National Institute on Aging to recruit participants for the National Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Study, an effort to identify Alzheimer's risk genes.

  10. A working group of leading experts in the Alzheimer's disease space recently published an academic paper, detailing solutions for finding effective Alzheimer's treatment or prevention by 2025.

  11. Nearly 1 in 5 Medicare dollars is spent on people with dementia. By 2050, it will be 1 in 3 dollars.
    Alzheimer’s Economics Stat

  12. Country star Glen Campbell continued his musical career even while living with Alzheimer's disease. Hear remarks from James Keach, director of the film detailing Campbell's story called "I'll Be Me."

  13. Nearly 60 percent of Americans are willing to join Alzheimer’s clinical trials, according to USAgainstAlzheimer's.
    Health Stat: Death

  14. The total estimated worldwide cost of dementia is $818 billion and it is expected to become a trillion-dollar disease by 2018.

  15. Alzheimer's disease occurs in young people, too. Early onset dementia also presents itself in people aged 40-50. In some instances, doctors experienced cases in patients as young as 30.
    Health Stat: Age

  16. You can show your support for those facing Alzheimer’s today. Use #TheLongestDay and #ENDALZ on social media to create awareness of your participation!

Thanks to the Alzheimer’s Association, The Longest Day empowers friends and family throughout the world to unite towards the goal of ending this devastating disease. From dancing to crafting, opportunities to participate are endless. On today’s summer solstice, what will you choose to do with your gift of time?