Alzheimer’s Disease – 10 Facts You Must Know About This Disease of the Elderly
As a type of dementia, Alzheimer’s severely affects the integrity of memory. It is the most common type of dementia, making up between 60-80% of the group. The risk factor is associated with aging, but Alzheimer’s and dementia are not normal parts of getting old. These facts will shed some light on a disease that has claimed the livelihood of millions.
10. More Women Have The Disease Than Men
Close to two-thirds of Alzheimer’s sufferers are women. Even with more women having the disease, this does not mean that gender plays a role in its attack pattern. Since women generally live longer than men, they are more likely to get Alzheimer’s based off of age patterns instead of gender. There are also more women caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients in the world, with many of them being non-professional staff (family). The Alzheimer’s Association keeps up to date numbers on both, and they have remained steady for the past few years.
9. Early Diagnosis Saves Health And Money
Billions of dollars are dumped into Alzheimer’s treatment and research each year. Early diagnosis prevents a sudden crash in lifestyle that can occur when a patient goes untreated. Many people live with Alzheimer’s without realizing it, so when the worst effects hit, their life comes crashing down. An early diagnosis allows for a comfortable exchange of ideas in handling a future problem. The biggest of those ideas have to do with financial responsibility. Also, there are Medicaid benefits for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, so you might want to check them out as well.
8. There Is No Cure
It seems like a very cruel thing to say, but it needs to be reinforced. There are treatment options for patients so that they can live with the condition, which is completely different from a cure. Many loved ones are scammed into alternative cures for Alzheimer’s that don’t exist. These scams prey on the feelings of families dealing with a loved ones Alzheimer’s. Always seek professional treatment in a professional setting, and ignore any claims of a ‘cure’.
7. Half Adults Over Age 85 Have Alzheimer’s
The biggest thing Alzheimer’s patients have in common is age, which seems to be where the disease is most common. With advanced age comes a higher chance of getting the condition. That is why an alarming number of seniors over 85 have such a high risk of getting Alzheimer’s. A healthy lifestyle can ward off the most common cognitive problems, so early adoption of these methods is key. Trying to become healthy for the first time at 85 will have less of an effect than if you started young.
6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Are Helpful
In a regular diet, omega-3 fatty acids have been beneficial to overall health. To patients with Alzheimer’s, this is the necessary brain food that can help with day to day functions. There is even proof that consuming foods high in omega-3 can lower the risks of dementia. Fish oil tablets are often described as a quick way to get a lot of this type of fatty acid. But with regular consumption of fish and other related foods, omega-3 can become as natural to consume as vitamin c.
5. Early Onset Alzheimer’s Is Real
The earliest recorded early onset age was 29. When Alzheimer’s symptoms begin at such an early age, the effects can be subtle. So subtle, that even professionals can miss it. Just shy of 5% of people will develop early onset symptoms, and it will usually occur between the ages of 40-60. When professionally diagnosed, it is important to follow up with your doctor. Ignoring the results will make it harder for healthcare professionals to make a treatment plan.
4. MCI Does Not Always Lead To Dementia
Mild cognitive impairment is not a guaranteed bridge to dementia. MCI causes problems with thinking skills, including memory recall. Sometimes biomarker tests are required to make a firm diagnosis on MCI. There is a minor relationship between MCI and dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association updated their guidelines to reflect the change, but also acknowledged that MCI is not directly responsible for the disease.
3. Good Exercise Is Promoted
Getting into good shape at an early age is only helpful if the routine is maintained. Healthy eating and exercise is often promoted as a precursor to Alzheimer’s treatment. A good cardio routine will lessen the chance of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. These are problems that are all linked to Alzheimer’s at a later time in life. The struggle to maintain a good shape is a problem many people face, yet the benefits are overwhelming if you want a healthier life. For physical and mental health, exercise is important to ward off the effects of Alzheimer’s.
2. Emotional States Are Affected By The Condition
Anger, depression and stress are all parts of having the disease. It is important that people react with compassion when dealing with someone that has Alzheimer’s. This includes remaining calm even in a heated situation, and also being aware when things are getting out of hand. When an Alzheimer’s sufferer won’t calm down, it puts both of you at risk. An underrated emotion of having the disease is the frustration that comes with physical and mental abilities that are no longer crisp. Once again, learn the signs to get past tense moments.
1. Familiarity Leads To Less Confusion
Repeated simple tasks works as a good mental exercise for patients with Alzheimer’s. The familiarity comforts them and also allows them to stay active. This can work as a daily safe space for many people, giving them something to do and feel fulfilled by not needing outside help. Finding a worthwhile task for a person suffering from Alzheimer’s is a good idea, and should be at the top of your priority list.
Alzheimer’s doesn’t signal the end of life. By understanding the facts associated with the condition, you can better prepare your loved ones for the worst. Stay vigilant and be strong when it matters and those afflicted will feel more comfortable being around you.