June 10, 2024


June: Supporting the Goals and Ideals of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

Since its establishment in 2014 by the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month in June offers an opportunity to raise awareness, advocate for, and support individuals, their families, and their caregivers who are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. House Resolution 564 encourages people in the United States to educate themselves about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. This month also advocates for research, care, and support services for Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease causes a slow decline in memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. Approximately 11 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, with nearly 60% of those caregivers rating the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high. In 2023, 40% of family caregivers for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia reported symptoms of depression.

Despite the grim statistics for over six million people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in the United States, there are helpful habits to learn, share, and practice for maximum brain health benefits. There are also warning signs and symptoms that may go beyond typical age-related changes. If you recognize them, schedule an appointment with a doctor for an evaluation; it’s important to take action.

The House of Representatives recognizes that stigma around Alzheimer’s disease contributes to under-detection and failure to diagnose the disease. Everyone is at risk, and here are ten warning signs and symptoms that should prompt a doctor’s evaluation:

  • Memory Loss That Disrupts Daily Life: Forgetting names or appointments but remembering them later is typical of age-related change. However, forgetting recently learned information, asking the same questions repeatedly, and increasingly relying on memory aids or family members may indicate Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems: Difficulty managing a budget or following a familiar recipe may indicate changes due to Alzheimer’s. Occasional errors or missed payments are typical age-related changes.
  • Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks: Difficulty driving to familiar locations, organizing a grocery list, or remembering the rules of a favorite game can also be signs of Alzheimer’s.
  • Confusion with Time or Place: Losing track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time, or forgetting where they are and how they got there, are warning signs.
  • Trouble Understanding Visual Images and Spatial Relationships: Changes in vision that affect balance or reading, and difficulty judging distance or determining color or contrast, may signal Alzheimer’s.
  • New Problems with Words in Speaking or Writing: Although sometimes having trouble finding the right word, having trouble naming a familiar object or using the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”) may show signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Losing your train of thought in the middle of a conversation with no idea on how to continue, or having difficulty following or joining a conversation may also warn that one is living with Alzheimer’s.
  • Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps: Putting things in unusual places or losing things without being able to retrace one’s steps to find them again is a warning sign. As the disease progresses, the individual may even accuse others of stealing.
  • Decreased or Poor Judgment: The examples of using poor judgment when dealing with money or paying less attention to grooming/keeping oneself clean may show that someone is experiencing Alzheimer’s.
  • Withdrawal from Work of Social Activities: As a result of new problems with words in speaking or writing, some individuals may withdraw from hobbies, social activities or other engagements. Sometimes feeling uninterested in certain activities does not necessarily mean it is a warning sign of Alzheimer’s.
  • Changes in Mood and Personality: Becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted is considered a typical age-related change. But some mood and personality changes may be due to living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Things such as increased confusion, suspicion, depression, fear or anxiety may lead to becoming easily upset at home, with friends or out of one’s comfort zone.

Early detection matters – these ten signs are significant health concerns that should be evaluated by a doctor.

Dementia is not a normal part of aging, yet Alzheimer’s disease is the only cause of death among the top ten in the United States with no means of prevention or cure. Early detection and communication with your healthcare team may lead to earlier treatment, helping to maintain a level of independence longer.

Some people are at higher risk, but there are steps we can all take to support brain health. Positive, everyday actions can make a difference in lowering the risk of cognitive decline, possibly Alzheimer’s and dementia.

  1. Exercise: Elevating your heart rate increases blood flow to the brain and body. Find physical activities that work for you.
  2. Education: Continuing education reduces your risk of cognitive decline. Take a class at a local library, college, community center, or online.
  3. Smoking Cessation: It’s never too late to stop smoking. Doing so helps lower your risk of cognitive decline.
  4. Healthy Blood Pressure: Work with your healthcare provider to maintain healthy blood pressure, which decreases risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke, positively impacting cognitive health.
  5. Head Protection: Prevent brain injury by wearing a helmet for biking and contact sports, wearing a seatbelt, and taking steps to prevent falls.
  6. The Right Fuel: Eat balanced meals with less processed foods, more fruits and vegetables, and leaner meats and proteins.
  7. Good Sleep: Minimize sleep disruptions to get good quality sleep. Talk to your healthcare provider about sleep-related conditions like sleep apnea and insomnia. 
  8. Mental Health: Manage stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns to reduce your risk of cognitive decline.
  9. Brain Games: Engage in activities that challenge your mind, such as puzzles, learning new skills, artistic activities, and strategy games.
  10. Social Engagement: Participate in activities with friends and family or find ways to be part of your community to support brain health.


Combining these brain health habits can maximize the benefits of maintaining a healthy brain and body. It’s never too early or late to start loving your brain and supporting the goals and ideals of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Be well.



Please explore these links to the Alzheimer’s Association web pages and pdfs for more ways to LOVE YOUR BRAIN!

Stages of Dementia
10 Warning Signs Worksheet
Communicating with Your Healthcare Team