By Cindy Zomar, Contributing Writer
Marlborough- For over five million Americans, Alzheimer’s disease is a daily reality. June 21, known as the summer solstice, is the day with the most daylight hours. It has also been designated by the Alzheimer’s Association as “The Longest Day.” Groups across the world use this day to try to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s by doing activities to promote awareness of the disease and support for caregivers. Many groups hold fundraisers to support research for a cure. It is estimated that someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds, and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the country.
The Vin Bin in Marlborough, at the main location at 91 Main Street in the old Marlborough Fire Station, will be hosting their second annual Longest Day event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 21 in their Café. Julie Lombardi, who owns the business with her husband Rick, is a geriatric nurse who has had plenty of experience in dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s in her patients, but she has also had to deal with it firsthand. Lombardi’s mother passed from Alzheimer’s and her father, 92, is currently exhibiting symptoms.
The Vin Bin will commemorate the day in a variety of ways, Lombardi said.
“We will cover the tables in purple tablecloths and have purple balloons. I am always surprised when people see all the purple and have to ask what it stands for, which tells me that we really have to do a better job of promoting awareness of this horrible disease,” she said.
“Our son, Michael, the Vin Bin Chef, will be featuring his new purple donuts in the Donut Shop Pop-up. He has perfected his new recipe and is excited be able to showcase them at the event. There will be a discounted offering for senior citizens 65 and older, and a donation jar to collect for the Alzheimer’s Association. We are hoping for a good turnout, especially from our local senior citizens. But everyone is invited!” she added.
Lombardi said it is important for all to be aware of the special challenges faced by those with Alzheimer’s including knowing that more patience is often required when dealing with them in a public setting. Menus should be simpler, for example, offering fewer choices, and the customer should be allowed to take their time to understand what is offered and place their order, without feeling rushed or judged.
“I have always gravitated to senior citizens. I knew from the time I left high school that I wanted to be a geriatric nurse, and I have never looked back,” Lombardi noted. “I have considered helping out here at the store with my family on a more regular basis, but, honestly, I am just not ready to give up on the nursing job that I love. With an event like this, I can combine both worlds.”
The Vin Bin is owned and operated by Lombardi and her husband, Rick, a retired journalist. They are celebrating 15 years in business this year, with satellite facilities in Hopkinton and Southborough, as well as the newest store, Vin Bin West in the RC Plaza off Route 20, West.