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Alzheimer's Community Raising Money For Cause
MIAMISBURG -- Being the first day of Summer, Friday is the longest day of the year; but for many, everyday seems like the longest day.
That's especially true for people who sometimes do not know who they are or where they are, people with Alzheimer's disease and those who care for them.
Scott Barker and his mom visit his father, Ken, every day. Last year on Father's Day they were sitting at home.
"He was able to play golf and walk and he was more conversant," said Barker.
That's how quickly Alzheimer's disease can progress.
"The hardest thing is when you turn your back and you leave. And there's hardly a time when I won't turn around and say thanks for taking care of my dad to somebody," said Barker, who knows his father is in good hands at the Wood Glen Alzheimer's Community.
"I want someone to be there to take care of me. I want someone who understands that this might not be the way I was before," said Samantha Augaitis, a nurse's aide at Wood Glen.
You will no doubt get a wave when you pass by Marie's room.
"They call me Miss Marie, so I like that. Oh, yes, I like everybody. I know faces, I don't always know their names but I know their faces," said the 98-year-old social butterfly who is in the early stages of the disease.
There are 5.4 million Americans just like Maria and Ken. That is one in every eight older Americans.
"A cure or slowing the progression of the disease would be wonderful. So a volleyball game where funds can be raised for such a thing is a great thing," said Barker.
A volleyball tournament is exactly what the staff at Wood Glen is busy planning. On Friday, the first day of summer and longest day of the year, they will play volleyball all day with the caregivers and those living with the disease in mind.
"We see what the disease does each and every day. We want to find a cure and we want to raise awareness," said Tabatha Arnold, Wood Glen's executive director.
While everyone holds onto hope for a cure, Scott holds onto every moment he can with his dad, each day.
"Those times he does look up and recognizes you. You just assume he knows you're there," Scott said.
The Wood Glen Volleyball Showdown is happening at Scene 75 in Dayton on Friday June 21.
It`s a continuous, 16-hour volleyball tournament. Two teams will compete every hour from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
You can contact Sara Lange at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 937-701-1259 to register.
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