Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
Growing older sometimes results in physical and mental changes. One of the most common is memory loss. According to the National Institute of Health, about 40 percent of people over the age of 65 experience some level of forgetfulness.
For a while, drawing a blank about recent conversations, people’s names, and situations isn’t overly worrisome. When it becomes constant, a family rightfully becomes worried about their loved one’s safety. That’s where a professional caregiver agency like Prestige Home Care can step in with help.
In working with the family, we strive for individualized care plans that take into account memory loss and memory exercises. Another goal is to provide an individual with as much independence as possible, even under supervision.
Signs of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s Disease is one form of dementia. It is common to think of dementia as a specific disease. Rather it’s an umbrella term for a group of symptoms. Here are some of the signs of Alzheimer’s for which to watch.
- Important dates and events
- Recently discussed information
- The process of doing something, like cooking
- Locations while driving
- Where they are (and how they got there)
- Asking the same question repeatedly
- Keeping track of monthly bills
- Decreased concentration abilities
- Impaired organization skills
- Difficulty using common devices like a TV remote.
- Inaccurate tracking of time
- Struggling to join or finish conversations (repeating themselves)
- Misplacing things
- Confusion and anxiety
Not everyone displays each of these, and not all these signs are present all the time. Some come and go
The Cause of Alzheimer’s
No one knows for sure exactly what causes Alzheimer’s. Studies indicate it may begin with proteins building up around and within brain cells. One protein, amyloid, builds plaque around your brain cells, similar to the plaque on your teeth. Another’s deposits, tau, tangles up inside brain cells.
One of the proteins involved is called amyloid, deposits of which form plaques around brain cells.
This buildup begins long before a person exhibits symptoms. It takes time for the accumulation to start affecting chemical messengers between brain cells.
The other protein is called tau, deposits of which form tangles within brain cells. Over the passage of time, parts of the brain decline in size, with the first impact typically being memories.
Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s
In looking at Alzheimer’s patients, there are a few common risk factors. Age, by far, is the greatest one. After the age of 65, your chances of developing Alzheimer’s doubles every five years. Having said that, people as young as 40 can develop the disease (this is called early onset).
Other risk factors include
- Having a family history of the disease
- Experiencing several head injuries
- Being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease
- Hearing loss
- Depression NOT associated with Alzheimer’s
- Social isolation
Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: How Prestige Home Care can help
A professional agency in Philadelphia, PA, such as ours, encounters people regularly who are struggling with Alzheimer’s. We offer reliable services tailored to individual needs. We can help with everyday tasks, personal care, homemaking, monitoring medication, and providing companionship.