One of the sad realities of growing older is the increased onset of disease. One disease that impacts an estimated 5 million Americans is Alzheimer’s Disease, which is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder. It tends to inhibit memory recall and thinking abilities; eventually, it becomes difficult to carry out even the simplest of tasks. Anyone who has a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease can tell you just how crippling it is to mental faculties. Some of the physical symptoms typically associated with this disease include:
- Loss of sense of smell
- Difficulty moving
- Vision/spatial issues
- Trouble remembering names & how to do tasks
Causes of Alzheimer’s
One difficultly with Alzheimer’s is that doctors aren’t quite sure what the cause of it are. It is believed to be the result of changes in the brain over time due to genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Particularly for early-onset Alzheimer’s, genetics seems to be the main component that leads to changes in the brain. For late-onset Alzheimer’s, the cause seems to be a combination of genetics, diet, physical activity, social activity, and exposure to mental stimulation.
Severity of Alzheimer’s
By no means does Alzheimer’s have the same impact or even severity of impact on each person. Doctors typically find that the severity of the disease is on a spectrum, typically agreeing on mild, moderate, and severe as the qualifiers.
Mild cases of Alzheimer’s Disease are less obvious. While this stage is definitely diagnosable, it is typically associated with behavior like wandering off, getting lost, asking the same question multiple times, needing more time to do normal daily functions. If you or a loved one has started to display these tendencies, it is easy to ignore them and attribute them to old age. We do recommend seeming medical attention so that the disease can be addressed early on.
Memory loss and confusion tend to increase during this stage of Alzheimer’s. It is usually during this state that damage occurs to the areas of the brain that affect language, reasoning & decision making, sensory processing, and thought-forming. Recognition of family and friends tends to become difficult during this level of Alzheimer’s.
At this stage of the disease, the brain tissue has shrunk to a large extent. Communication becomes severely difficult, if communication is even possible at all. Those with Alzheimer’s become completely depends on family and friends to care for them and may need to spend most of their time on bed rest. During this stage, the rest of the body begins to shut down.
How To Approach Alzheimer’s
We recommend that you or your loved one seek medical attention. The FDA has approved a variety of drugs that are able to help with some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. These drugs help people to maintain greater brain function, ability to recall memories, and communication capabilities. It is also important to increase exposure to mentally stimulating activities, which help to “keep the brain sharp.”
If you are not able to take care of your loved one or if you need basically help around the house, turning to options like this in-home senior care in Richmond, KY for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease is a great choice. It allows the person to stay in a familiar and comfortable environment while also providing them with the support they need to complete everyday tasks.
There are also plenty of Alzheimer’s Disease care centers for a more permanent living situation. Communities like these have trained professionals to help those suffering from Alzheimer’s, both in daily tasks and from a medical perspective.
If you would like more information on this disease or would like to ask any questions, we recommend checking out the Alzheimer’s Association. They have a large amount of resources and even offer a 24/7 Helpline. You can also learn more from the video below.