What is Alzheimer’s disease? What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s? What are my loved one’s best options for Alzheimer’s care?
Have you or someone you love recently received an Alzheimer's diagnosis? If so, you may have many questions about the condition and what senior care services can do to help. For answers to commonly asked questions about Alzheimer's disease, read through our FAQ, compiled by our Alzheimer's senior care service experts.
A degenerative, progressive brain disorder characterized by Cognitive decline, memory loss, and behavioral changes, these symptoms of Alzheimer’s typically worsen over time. Presently, about 5.5 million people in the U.S. live with Alzheimer’s, most of whom are over the age of 65.
As a terminal condition, those with Alzheimer's have an average life expectancy of 4-8 years after diagnosis. However, there have been some cases of people living 15-20 years after the initial diagnosis. Right now, it's the sixth leading cause of death in America.
While it is true that everyone with Alzheimer's has dementia, the fact is, not everyone with dementia has Alzheimer's disease. Dementia is a general term that encompasses a wide range of brain disorders, specifically those characterized by memory loss. The most common form of dementia, however, is Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, Alzheimer’s forms 60-80% of all dementia cases, according to statistics.
Indeed, medical researchers have identified many risk factors when it comes to Alzheimer's. The three biggest risks are:
Other risk factors include sleeping problems, high-stress levels, a history of head trauma, heavy smoking, heavy drinking, and exposure to air pollution, among others.
When it comes to Alzheimer’s, there is a wide range of symptoms associated with the condition. Most of these symptoms are expressed through a person’s speech, thought patterns, and behaviors, particularly early in the disease.
The most prominent symptoms of Alzheimer’s include:
Nowadays, researchers believe Alzheimer's begins several years before symptoms present themselves. Typically, these symptoms start to appear in old age. However, in some cases, Alzheimer’s symptoms have been seen as early as someone in their 40’s or 50’s.
In the beginning, symptoms are mild and have minimal impact on a person's life. With the progression of the disease, things change, and symptoms can quickly turn from mild to moderate to severe. In the end stages of the condition, the individual may lose all short and long-term memory, as well as the ability to understand speech or speak, and the ability to perform basic personal activities like going to the bathroom or feeding themselves.
Presently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. The disease is progressive and is believed to be irreversible. There are, however, several modern treatments that can delay its initial symptoms or slow its progress.
Healthy lifestyle choices should be the focus of prevention or delay, and doctors recommend that those at risk of Alzheimer's or living with the disease should concentrate on better cardiovascular health.
As Alzheimer’s progresses, higher levels of senior care services are necessary. To ensure clients well-being and safety, individuals with the condition should contact home care professionals to assist with every stage of the Alzheimer's. While friends and family normally help out in the initial stages, early to mid-stage, advanced stages do require Alzheimer's care providers that can provide quality senior care services.
While a nursing care facility is an option, it is also known to be a very stressful one for those with Alzheimer's disease. Thus, it's usually seen as a last resort for families.
Senior care services provided by care professionals that specialize in Alzheimer's disease is another option, such as the living assistance services offered by Visiting Angels Mid Maine.
As mentioned, Alzheimer's care is a senior care service that Visiting Angels Mid Maine's home care professionals offer for individuals who have early, mid, or later stages of the disease. We design a care plan that is personalized for your loved one. Our care is given in the comfort of your loved one’s home. Our caregivers are trained, certified, and experienced to take care of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Call Visiting Angels Mid Maine to learn more about how we can help you, your family, or your loved one with our respite care services and senior care services.