On Thursday, June 21, 2018 members of the Berkshire Alzheimer’s Partnership will once take over Park Square in Pittsfield. The summer solstice, also the longest day in our calendar year, has been identified by the Alzheimer’s Association as a day to pay tribute to caregivers. To underscore caregiver challenges, members of the Berkshire Alzheimer’s Partnership will host “Purple in the Park”, a sunrise to sunset public display to illustrate the life of a caregiver, when everyday feels like the longest day.

The Longest Day is intended to highlight the strength, heart and endurance of day to day life for those caregivers on the journey with someone suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Most caregivers will experience some level of distress at some point. Caregivers tending to someone with a memory impairment have unique challenges, incredible levels of stress and often find they are caregivers over the course of years.

Members of the Berkshire Alzheimer’s Partnership have a deeper understanding of these specific caregiver challenges. Caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s can be a very isolating and lonely experience. The Berkshire Alzheimer's Partnership wants to raise awareness in our community in the hopes that as a community we start reaching out to support these individuals.

Our goal is to provide tangible, hands on tips on how to manage day to day activities, provide community resource information and to listen to caregivers about what they need to continue as effective, patient caregivers. Equally as important, we want to help our community learn ways to support these individuals because we know caregivers thrive much better when they are connected to others who understand what they are going through.

Throughout the day community members are invited to come to Park Square to talk with Partnership members, listen to the music, visit the various stations that will be set up or write a message on a tribute flag. The day will culminate with a candlelight vigil at sunset. Fighting Alzheimer’s from sunrise to sunset is something caregivers have to do every day, regardless of what else is going on in their life. The Berkshire Alzheimer’s Partnership invites all of Berkshire County to join us on the Longest Day so that together we become stronger in our fight against Alzheimer’s.

For details follow Berkshire Alzheimer’s Partnership on Facebook or email info@BAPartners.org

(press release sent to WSBS from Lynn Pandell, Berkshire Alzheimer’s Partnership member for online and on-air use)