June Awareness: Alzheimer’s Disease
The month of June observes several awareness issues. The 2 awarenesses Affinity Home Care Agency focuses on this month are Alzhiemer’s disease and brain health. We assist many clients and families affected by these health issues and they are often tightly connected. There is common confusion differentiating Alzheimer’s from dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association defines Alzheimer’s disease as a “degenerative brain disease and the most common form of dementia. Dementia is not a specific disease. It is an overall term that describes a group of symptoms.” Alzheimer’s represents 60-80% of all dementia cases and it is estimated that 50 million people suffer from Alzheiner’s and other forms of dementia. As with any disease, ailment or change in your overall health, it is important to seek diagnosis and treatment early. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death. 1 in 3 seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
Some early signs of Alzheimer’s can be difficulty remembering names and events, apathy for the things you used to love, and even depression. Later signs may be impaired judgement, orientation, confusion, behavioral changes, and even troubles with speech or movement. If you are concerned about your memory and overall brain health, it is important to seek help, a diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes, going through this process will reveal an underlying issue that is treatable. There isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, however early diagnosis can help people access early treatments for their symptoms. Some treatments can involve medications and alternative treatments used for memory, changes in behavior and sleep changes. There is not a definitive test to diagnose Alzheimer’s. Typically people start with their primary care doctor and may include neurologists or other specialists. They will use a series of observations and utilize tools to assess dementia and rule out other possibilities. The doctors will review medical history and physical exams. They usually run diagnostic tests that may include blood tests, imaging, neuro exams and/or mental status tests. Sometimes imaging can detect other issues that are treatable.
If the diagnosis is Alzheimer’s, it is important to get early treatments and support. Early treatments might lessen the symptoms of the disease. More clinical trials are available for people at the early diagnosis stage. It is important to prioritize your health. You might be able to preserve some cognitive function by increasing exercise along with social and mental activity. You can improve your health by keeping your blood pressure under control, stop smoking and stay as active as possible. These steps can also lessen the anxiety of the diagnosis. Access local support groups and resources to help you and your family. Make the most of the time you have with your loved ones and plan for the future.
Affinity Home Care Agency works everyday with people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. We help in the early stages with medication reminders, rides to appointments, meal preparation, companionship and assist with caregiving services. As the disease progresses, we offer additional services and we make a personalized plan for your specific needs. Contact Affinity Home Care Agency and schedule your free assessment, either virtually or in your home. Call us, 888-806-8773 or email us, firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer all your questions. Welcome to the family!