PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — As many around the world celebrated the summer solstice, senior communities took the opportunity to bring awareness to memory loss diseases and conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Each year, The Alzheimer’s Association recognizes “The Longest Day” by highlighting these medical issues that make every day feel long to patients suffering from them.
Commonwealth Senior Living at Churchland House in Portsmouth was one of many communities in the region that held a number of activities for residents.
Leigh Morehead, who is the executive director, says a majority of patients have memory loss issues.
“Always working 24/7. We can have individuals that have good days. We have some that have bad days,” she said.
Morehead says the simplest of activities, like bowling or playing balloon tennis, are big events for those with these diseases and conditions.
Many residents came out to play and also represent those with Alzheimer’s, including Jean Amos.
Amos says she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia and has a son living with schizophrenia.
“You’re just in a dark hole and you can’t get out,” she said about those struggling with it.
Amos says programs at the facility have helped clear her mind and she’s grateful for it.
She’s just upset that the diseases can cause so many to degrade.
“We come into this world as a child and a lot of us go back and die as a child. I think it’s so sad, so pitiful,” she said.
Amos hopes that there will one day be treatment for these diseases and conditions.
Morehead says their facility encourages families of patients and those struggling to get educated.
“Come in and talk with us. We know some of the signs families should be looking for. We’re also a great resource.”