November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month and according to the Alzheimer's Association, more than five million Americans are living with the disease
Gabrielle Dawkins sat down with a Warner Robins family that helps one of its members manage and cope with the disease.
“When it becomes a life changing situation, then you begin to realize it's not just old age,” said Cynthia Davis. “There's something more than that.”
Doctors diagnosed Mary Grantham with Alzheimer’s eight years ago.
“It's a very different situation going from the woman who raised us to the woman that we're having to take care of because she can't remember anything,” said Grantham’s daughter Cynthia Davis.
Grantham is a retired public school teacher, minister and mother of four children.
Davis says her mother's memory started fading and she’d forget things like turning the stove off and which direction to drive.
“Eventually it got to where she couldn't drive anymore because she couldn't even remember where either of us lived,” said Davis.
Now, they are all pitching in where they can and trying to make the most out of this situation.
“Encourage them, laugh with them, and you laugh too, because there's not a lot you can do about it since there is no cure. You might as well try to make the best of it,” said Davis.
She says the positive moments are what makes this milestone easier.
“I'm so appreciative that at this point and stage in the condition that she's in with Alzheimer's and dementia that she still has a very positive outlook. She's still encouraging, still loving and wonderful,” said Davis.
Davis says that she doesn't believe a cure will come in her mother's lifetime, but she’s hopeful there will be one in her daughters’ lifetime.
She is collecting dolls throughout the month of November for people who have Alzheimer’s at Summers Landing in Warner Robins. If you would like to donate to her cause, call her at 478-957-4890.
For those seeking help, counseling or support, contact the Alzheimer's Association Hotline at 1-800-272-3900.