The only way to shed light on darkness is to illuminate it. And that’s what we plan to do later this month, in a few different ways, as our communities participate in “The Longest Day,” an awareness event supported by the Alzheimer’s Association.

At Cadence, we’re acutely aware of the struggles and heartbreak that Alzheimer’s disease can inflict on families, as those living with the progressive disease are slowly robbed of their ability to remember, converse and respond. Our memory care units witness the impact of the disease, which affects five million Americans, and our caregivers deliver a variety of therapies that have shown promise to slow the disease’s progress.

It is by facing Alzheimer’s head-on every day that we so fiercely want to support awareness initiatives that could help bring an end to a disease that has become our country’s sixth leading cause of death, affects one in three seniors and takes a heavy financial toll on the healthcare system every year.

And the longest day of the year — on June 20 — seems like the perfect day to do it, when our collective focus on this disease can get the most mileage.

We plan to spend some of that mileage behind the wheel, as each of our communities hosts a parade of vehicles decorated in purple with messages of support for our residents. With communities across the country, it’s the longest parade Cadence has ever organized, which seems fitting.

As the longest day fades to the shortest night, our communities will illuminate the darkness with purple lighting. We are hopeful that businesses and residential areas in our neighboring communities will join us, creating an unmistakable glow in support of fighting a disease that affects too many.

In the midst of these events, each of our communities will hold unique fundraisers to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, which uses donations to further research toward a cure and support care for those living with the disease.

Research indicates this disease will continue to take its toll, impacting an increasing number of people in the coming years, which adds to our sense of urgency and our unwavering support of “The Longest Day” initiative.

We look forward to seeing you on our parade route.