Alzheimer’s makes people disappear. Or, more literally, it makes people’s memories disappear. It erases their reason, their sense of who they are, their instincts about who they know, love and trust, their knowledge of how they’re connected to the world and how the world works. It takes away their past. And it makes their present, and their future, very shaky indeed.

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By mid-century, someone will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds. And there’s no cure.

For people with Alzheimer’s, decline begins slowly. Changes are subtle. Caregivers can be distant and patients can be in denial. Early diagnosis and treatment can delay the progression of symptoms, which include increasing confusion and forgetfulness, and eventually the inability to take care of the activities of daily living. Even simple things like having a conversation, taking a bath or tying a shoe become impossible.

At Intouch, we know that while there’s no cure, there are things that can help both patients and caregivers. Technology that helps track symptoms, offers community, and fosters connection are all things we’re exploring in our innovations and prototyping efforts against this disease.

On June 21, at Intouch Chicago, we celebrated the summer solstice, the year’s longest day, in recognition and solidarity with our colleagues, our friends, and our loved ones impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.

The Longest Day is a long-standing day of service and celebration, when the Alzheimer’s Association recognizes those affected by Alzheimer’s disease

Our form of recognition and celebration centered on the talents we at Intouch Chicago have, thanks to the people who have shaped us, inspired us and made us who we are today. Because someone we love taught us how to do things, we shared back in their honor.

We had Dad jokes. We had a spoken word poem about identity and reputation. We had heartwarming stories of fathers, mothers, grandparents. Even one about watching the Cubs win the World Series with an aging and very ill grandfather, bedridden while his wife continued to decline from progressive dementia.

Intouch is filled to the brim with talented folks. We are grateful to the skills we have because someone taught us how to do things. It was a day of creative energy and never-ending empathy, a day of remembrance of those who we’ll never forget.

#ENDALZ on #TheLongestDay