Alzheimers FAQs and How Visiting Angels Provides Helps for Alzheimers Patients in Anderson, IN and the Surrounding Area
What Is Alzheimer's?
You or your family members may not know what Alzheimer’s disease is, or looks like, or how to find help for Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative brain disorder that is characterized by memory loss, cognitive decline, and behavioral changes. As time goes by, typically over a few years, the symptoms do get worse leading to daily tasks and activities being affected. Doctors consider Alzheimer’s a terminal condition, with patients averaging a 4-8 year life expectancy after being diagnosed—however there have been cases where individuals have lived 15-20 years post diagnosis. This disease is this sixth leading cause of death in the United States—roughly 5.5 billion individuals suffer from Alzheimer’s, the majority of these individuals are aged 65 and older. On the other hand, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, early on-set Alzheimer’s effects 200,000 Americans aged under 65.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it is normal to have some questions. This FAQ provides help for Alzheimer’s patients and their families from care professionals at Visiting Angels®. Learn more about Alzheimer’s below.
What is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer's?
Alzheimer’s and dementia are not the exact same; dementia is an umbrella term used to cover a wide range of brain disorders that are characterized by memory loss, while Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. Research has shown that 60-80% of all case of dementia are labeled as Alzheimer’s. This is where it is true that everyone with Alzheimer’s has dementia, but not everyone with dementia has Alzheimer’s. For example, a person suffering living with vascular dementia will have similar Alzheimer’s symptoms, but the cause of their dementia is different. Help for Alzheimer’s patients differs from help for other causes of dementia.
What are the Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s?
Researchers are still looking for the exact cause of Alzheimer’s and more ways to help for Alzheimer’s patients, but they have been able to identify a few risk factors.
The three biggest risk factors are as follows:
- Advanced Age. In most cases, Alzheimer’s symptoms begin showing after the age of 65.
- Genetics. Family history of Alzheimer’s puts individuals at a higher risk of developing the disease.
- Heart Health. Poor cardiovascular health increases one’s risk. It’s been shown that individuals with a history of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, or cardiac arrest will also be at higher risk.
Other risk factors include
- Sleeping problems
- High stress levels
- Heavy smoking
- Heavy drinking
- History of head trauma
- Exposure to air pollution
What are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s?
The most common symptoms, especially in early on-set Alzheimer’s, are expressed through the individual’s speech, thought patterns, and behaviors.
The most prominent symptoms include:
- Short-term and long-term memory loss
- Trouble solving simple problems
- Uncommon struggles with day-to-day activities
- Words forgotten or mixed up
- Items lost more frequently
- Confusion about current time or place
- Confusion about the names and identities of people
- Irrational, irritable, or depressed behaviors and actions
How Does Alzheimer’s Disease Progress?
Scientists believe that people who suffer from Alzheimer’s may have actually had it for many years prior to showing any indications. Symptoms tend to start showing in older adults, though there have been cases of them showing up in 40 or 50-year-old adults. The disease is gradual and progressive with the symptoms becoming worse over time.
The symptoms can come on mild at first with minimal impact on the individual’s well-being. As the disease begins to progress the symptoms will start to develop from mild, to moderate, to severe. By the time the individual reaches the final stages of the disease they may lose all their short-term and long-term memory, the ability to speak and understand speech, as well as how do personal care for themselves, such as using the restroom or eat alone. Learn how to find help for Alzheimer’s patients and prepare for the stages of Alzheimer’s.
Does Alzheimer’s Disease Have a Cure?
At this time, there is not a known cure for Alzheimer’s; while this disease’s’ progress is believed to be irreversible, there are ways to receive help for Alzheimer’s patients. Scientists are continuing to try and find a cure; while there are modern treatments and clinical trials are being used to try and find a way to slow the diseases onset, delay its initial symptoms, as well as reduce its progress. It is recommended by professionals that those who are at risk or are living with Alzheimer’s to focus on their cardiovascular health as well as living with healthy lifestyle choices. Focusing on improving sleep habits, increasing omega-3 intake and decreasing stress have also been shown to reduce the risk.
What are Options for Alzheimer’s Care?
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, individuals living with this disease require high levels of care to ensure their well-being and safety. In the early stages of this disease people are usually cared for by their loved ones, but as their disease begins to reach its later staged symptoms family members likely seek help for Alzheimer’s patients. There are a few options to choose from to ensure that Alzheimer’s patients are having their needs met well being kept safe. The first option is moving your loved one into a nursing care facility—this can be traumatic for Alzheimer’s patients and is usually used as a last resort. Another option is to hire Alzheimer’s home care services, such as those offered by your local Visiting Angels. These services are used for specialized in-home help for Alzheimer’s patients so that they can live at home while aging with their illness.
Visiting Angels provides specialized care to meet the unique challenges of the disease. Care is provided in the individuals home by caregivers that are qualified and trained to care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.
Serving Pendleton, Muncie, Anderson, Greenfield, McCordsville, Fortville, IN and Surrounding Communities
Visiting Angels EAST CENTRAL, INDIANA110 E Hartman Rd
Anderson, IN 46012