Over 120,000 Washingtonians aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s Disease, according to 2023 data from the Alzheimer's Association, and that number is expected to continue to grow. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe changes in the brain that can cause things like memory loss, unexpected behavior, and other symptoms that affect a person’s ability to live independently.
NWRC recognizes the tremendous impacts of dementia on the population we serve and would like to encourage the community to take steps to increase brain health during the month of June. “In addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, addressing hearing and vision challenges as we age can help reduce our risk of developing dementia,” says Bethany Chamberlin, PhD, Health and Human Services Planner at NWRC. Staying socially engaged is also a key component of brain health, whether that means attending events at a senior center, or going berry picking with friends.
If you are worried about your own brain health or about someone you care for, NWRC’s Dementia Support Program advises talking about your concerns with a health care provider. You can also contact our Aging and Disability Resources staff to see if there are programs that you might be eligible for.
To learn more about the National movement for Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month, visit Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month | Alzheimer's Association. For local support, including memory screenings, support groups, dementia friendly events, and trainings, visit Dementia | Dementia Support Northwest | Washington (dementiasupportnw.org)
Since 1971, NWRC has been helping older adults, people with complex medical conditions, and their families obtain resources and assistance that promote optimal health, well-being, and independence to improve quality of life in Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties. For more information, nwrcwa.org
Dementia Support Program Specialist
Community Programs Director