VISITING ANGELS MARYLAND 866.492.6435
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What Is Alzheimer's?
CDC Updates
Get the latest information on COVID-19 from the Department of Health

Serving Baltimore, Bel Air, Easton Edgewater, Eldersburg, Frederick Gaithersburg, Hagerstown, Largo Laurel, Millersville, Pikesville, Silver Spring, Towson & Waldorf, Maryland

Visiting Angels Maryland Offices
Visiting Angels in Eldersburg, MD
6505 Ridenour Way E #1B
Eldersburg MD 21784
Phone: 410-324-6347

Visiting Angels in Largo, MD
9701 Apollo Dr #297
Largo MD 20774
Phone: 301-583-8820

Visiting Angels in Silver Spring, MD
804 Pershing Dr #110
Silver Spring MD 20910
Phone: 301-690-8552

Visiting Angels in Towson, MD
100 West Rd #300
Towson MD 21204
Phone: 443-841-5455

Visiting Angels in Gaithersburg, MD
971A Russell Ave
Gaithersburg MD 20879
Phone: 301-719-5140

Visiting Angels in Owings Mills, MD
10451 Mill Run Circle #400
Owings Mills MD 21117
Phone: 410-517-7702

Visiting Angels in Baltimore, MD
7206 Belair Rd
Baltimore MD 21206
Phone: 410-882-8201

Visiting Angels in Waldorf, MD
50 Post Office Rd #201
Waldorf MD 20602
Phone: 301-281-6866

Visiting Angels in Frederick, MD
801 Toll House Ave #A-3
Frederick MD 21701
Phone: 301-418-6172

Visiting Angels in Waynesboro, PA
10764 Buchanan Trail E
Waynesboro PA 17268
Phone: 717-749-0458

Visiting Angels in Millersville, MD
8338 Veterans Hwy #103A
Millersville MD 21108
Phone: 410-587-2316

Visiting Angels in Easton, MD
221 Glenwood Ave
Easton MD 21601
Phone: 443-746-0494

What Is Alzheimer's?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative brain disorder that is characterized by memory loss, cognitive decline, and behavioral changes. Symptoms worsen over time, usually over several years, and can have a severe effect on performing daily tasks and activities.

Alzheimer’s is considered a terminal condition, with an average life expectancy of 4 to 8 years after diagnosis, though some individuals live 15 or 20 years after their initial diagnosis. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Roughly 5.5 million Americans, the vast majority of whom are older adults (over the age of 65), are living with Alzheimer’s. Early Onset Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, affects approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

If you have a loved one who has recently been diagnosed, you likely have many questions. This FAQ gives you answers from care professionals at Visiting Angels®. Learn more about Alzheimer’s below.

What is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer's?

Dementia is an umbrella term for a wide range of brain disorders that are characterized by memory loss. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. According to estimates, Alzheimer’s cases account for somewhere between 60% to 80% of all cases of dementia.

It’s therefore true that everyone with Alzheimer’s has dementia, but not everyone with dementia has Alzheimer’s. Individuals who are living with vascular dementia, for instance, will suffer symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s, but the cause of their dementia is different.

What are the Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s?

While scientists are still researching the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have identified a number of risk factors.

The three biggest risk factors are as follows:

  • Advanced Age. In the vast majority of cases, symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease begin after the age of 65.
  • Genetics. Individuals with a family history of Alzheimer’s are at higher risk of developing the disease themselves.
  • Heart Health. Poor cardiovascular health increases one’s risk. Individuals with a history of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, or cardiac arrest will 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?

Most symptoms, particularly early signs of Alzheimer’s, are expressed through a person’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?

Researchers believe the disease begins many years before people with Alzheimer’s begin to show any indications. Symptoms typically start to appear in old adults, though some cases of Alzheimer’s begin in a person’s 40’s or 50’s. Alzheimer’s is a gradual, progressive disease, with symptoms becoming worse over a period of years.

At first, symptoms will be mild and will have minimal impact on the person’s well-being. As the disease progresses, symptoms develop from mild to moderate to severe. By the final stages of the disease, the person may lose all short-term and long-term memory, the ability to speak and to understand speech, and the ability to perform basic personal activities, such as how to use the bathroom or eat on their own. Learn how to prepare for the stages of Alzheimer’s.

Does Alzheimer’s Disease Have a Cure?

Currently, there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and the disease’s progress is believed to be irreversible. While scientists continue to search for a cure, modern treatments and clinical trials are limited to slowing the onset of the disease, delaying its initial symptoms, or reducing its progress.

Doctors recommend that individuals at risk or living with Alzheimer’s disease focus on healthy lifestyle choices, particularly focusing on cardiovascular health. Interventions such as improved sleep habits, increased omega-3 intake, and decreased stress are also proven to reduce the risk.

What are Options for Alzheimer’s Care?

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, individuals living with the disease require high levels of care to ensure their well-being and safety. Individuals with early stage and mid-stage Alzheimer’s are typically cared for by friends or family. But as the disease reaches its later stages, professional Alzheimer’s care is often required.

One option for care is moving your loved one into a nursing care facility. However, this can be traumatic for individuals with Alzheimer’s, and it is typically considered a last resort.

Another option is to hire Alzheimer’s home care services, such as those offered by your local Visiting Angels. This specialized in-home care helps individuals age in place with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s home care is distinct from traditional home care, since individuals with Alzheimer’s have distinct care needs from other seniors. Visiting Angels' specialized care is designed around the unique challenges of the disease, as well as the recipient’s individual care needs. Care is provided in the comfort of the recipient’s home, and services are performed by caregivers who are uniquely qualified to care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s.

Learn more about Alzheimer’s care services offered by Visiting Angels today, or contact your local Visiting Angels office to request a free consultation.

Serving Baltimore, Bel Air, Easton Edgewater, Eldersburg, Frederick Gaithersburg, Hagerstown, Largo Laurel, Millersville, Pikesville, Silver Spring, Towson & Waldorf, Maryland

Visiting Angels Maryland Offices
Visiting Angels in Eldersburg, MD
6505 Ridenour Way E #1B
Eldersburg MD 21784
Phone: 410-324-6347

Visiting Angels in Largo, MD
9701 Apollo Dr #297
Largo MD 20774
Phone: 301-583-8820

Visiting Angels in Silver Spring, MD
804 Pershing Dr #110
Silver Spring MD 20910
Phone: 301-690-8552

Visiting Angels in Towson, MD
100 West Rd #300
Towson MD 21204
Phone: 443-841-5455

Visiting Angels in Gaithersburg, MD
971A Russell Ave
Gaithersburg MD 20879
Phone: 301-719-5140

Visiting Angels in Owings Mills, MD
10451 Mill Run Circle #400
Owings Mills MD 21117
Phone: 410-517-7702

Visiting Angels in Baltimore, MD
7206 Belair Rd
Baltimore MD 21206
Phone: 410-882-8201

Visiting Angels in Waldorf, MD
50 Post Office Rd #201
Waldorf MD 20602
Phone: 301-281-6866

Visiting Angels in Frederick, MD
801 Toll House Ave #A-3
Frederick MD 21701
Phone: 301-418-6172

Visiting Angels in Waynesboro, PA
10764 Buchanan Trail E
Waynesboro PA 17268
Phone: 717-749-0458

Visiting Angels in Millersville, MD
8338 Veterans Hwy #103A
Millersville MD 21108
Phone: 410-587-2316

Visiting Angels in Easton, MD
221 Glenwood Ave
Easton MD 21601
Phone: 443-746-0494

CDC Updates
Get the latest information on COVID-19 from the Department of Health

Serving Baltimore, Bel Air, Easton Edgewater, Eldersburg, Frederick Gaithersburg, Hagerstown, Largo Laurel, Millersville, Pikesville, Silver Spring, Towson & Waldorf, Maryland

Visiting Angels Maryland Offices
Visiting Angels in Eldersburg, MD
6505 Ridenour Way E #1B
Eldersburg MD 21784
Phone: 410-324-6347

Visiting Angels in Largo, MD
9701 Apollo Dr #297
Largo MD 20774
Phone: 301-583-8820

Visiting Angels in Silver Spring, MD
804 Pershing Dr #110
Silver Spring MD 20910
Phone: 301-690-8552

Visiting Angels in Towson, MD
100 West Rd #300
Towson MD 21204
Phone: 443-841-5455

Visiting Angels in Gaithersburg, MD
971A Russell Ave
Gaithersburg MD 20879
Phone: 301-719-5140

Visiting Angels in Owings Mills, MD
10451 Mill Run Circle #400
Owings Mills MD 21117
Phone: 410-517-7702

Visiting Angels in Baltimore, MD
7206 Belair Rd
Baltimore MD 21206
Phone: 410-882-8201

Visiting Angels in Waldorf, MD
50 Post Office Rd #201
Waldorf MD 20602
Phone: 301-281-6866

Visiting Angels in Frederick, MD
801 Toll House Ave #A-3
Frederick MD 21701
Phone: 301-418-6172

Visiting Angels in Waynesboro, PA
10764 Buchanan Trail E
Waynesboro PA 17268
Phone: 717-749-0458

Visiting Angels in Millersville, MD
8338 Veterans Hwy #103A
Millersville MD 21108
Phone: 410-587-2316

Visiting Angels in Easton, MD
221 Glenwood Ave
Easton MD 21601
Phone: 443-746-0494