Eight years ago, Jean left the suburbs of Philadelphia, where she had grown up and lived for most of her life, and moved to Center City, marking the beginning of her love affair with this vibrant city. “I love the view, and I look out the window a lot,” she says, “There’s always something going on."
She is always busy, she says. Starting with coffee each morning, Jean would plan her entire day. “I need my memory, and it helps me figure out. I'll sit down with my cup of coffee and figure out what I'm going to do that day, and that's part of remembering, to me.”
Although Jean admits that she has become less social since symptoms of cognitive impairment began to develop, she is determined to reengage with her wide network of friends. She has never shied away from her closest friends, however, who support each other through life’s many ups and downs. Jean says of one friend of 26 years, “She just lost her husband. My job is to keep her happy, so we go out a lot.”
In fact, Jean's active social life could easily rival that of any millennial. Recalling a girlfriend’s visit to Philly, she recounts, “We hopped [in] a cab ... Uber, actually. We went back to my place and regrouped and then went out to The Prime Rib… We actually closed the place, because I know the bartenders there, and I know a lot of people that hang at that bar. We had a really fun time.”
When Jean is not out on the town with her girlfriends, she can be found walking around the city, at the gym, reading the newspaper, listening to jazz, or in the kitchen preparing meals for family and friends. All of these things, she does in spite of her fear of what may happen if her memory continues to deteriorate. “Even though I watched my Mom get a little forgetful and so on, I never thought it would be me,” she says. “I don’t want that to happen to me. I’m trying to work on it.”