June has special meaning to Brenda Gregg, a dementia specialist with the Northwest Heart of America Alzheimer’s Association.
Gregg works with family members of those with the brain disease. June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.
Gregg said Alzheimer’s has affected her life personally.
“Both of my grandmothers were diagnosed in 2000, and they both lost their journey with Alzheimer’s in 2010,” she said. “Currently, my husband’s grandmother, who’s 96, she’ll be 97 in January, and she’s living with Alzheimer’s disease. So it’s something that’s affected our family very personally.”
Gregg said Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, and there are signs to look for in family members.
“There’s recent memory loss that interferes with daily living, disorientation, confusion when you’re in familiar circumstances and problems doing or completing familiar tasks,” she said. “It’s something that’s really important to understand that all these warning signs really interfere with your daily living and accomplishing tasks interfere with relationships.”
The dementia specialist said that there are coping skills for those who are affected by Alzheimer’s.
“I think one of the best coping skills is just to reach out to other people. Alzheimer’s disease can be very isolating for the person with the disease, for their caregivers and for their family members. You don’t have to go through this journey by yourself,” Gregg said.
To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, visit the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org.