Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

Alzheimer’s And Brain Awareness

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month is a time dedicated to increasing public knowledge about Alzheimer’s and brain health. It’s a time to engage in conversations about the brain, share facts about Alzheimer’s, and support research to find a cure for this devastating disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Alzheimer’s disease ranks as the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. The impact of this progressive neurodegenerative disorder is staggering, with an estimated 5.8 million Americans affected in 2020 alone. Disturbingly, projections indicate that this number may nearly double, reaching approximately 14 million by the year 2060, should no significant advancements be made in prevention or treatment.

What exactly is Alzheimer’s, and how can we contribute to its prevention? Through proactive engagement, support for research initiatives, and fostering a culture of brain health, each of us can play a role in reducing the impact of Alzheimer’s on future generations.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, cognitive skills, and the ability to carry out simple tasks. It’s the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of dementia cases. Although primarily affecting those aged 65 and up, approximately 10% of cases are individuals younger than 65, known as early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Recognizing the Signs of Alzheimer’s

Recognizing the early signs of Alzheimer’s can help in early intervention and management of the disease. Let’s delve deeper into these signs.

Memory Loss

One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Other instances include forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same information repeatedly, and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids or family members for things they used to handle on their own.

It’s not just about occasional forgetfulness; when memory loss disrupts daily life, it might be a symptom of Alzheimer’s.

Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks

People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily activities. Sometimes, they may have trouble driving to a familiar location, finishing a common task at work, or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

Confusion with Time or Place

Alzheimer’s patients can lose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.

New Problems with Words in Speaking or Writing

People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word, or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).

Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps

A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing, especially as the disease progresses.

Prevention of Alzheimer’s

While there’s no surefire way to prevent Alzheimer’s, certain lifestyle choices may help protect your brain.

Healthy Diet

A heart-healthy diet may also be a brain-healthy diet. Research has shown that eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy, and limiting sugar and saturated fats can help protect the brain.

Regular Exercise

Physical activity is beneficial for maintaining good blood flow to the brain and can encourage new brain cell growth and survival. Regular physical activity is also associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline.

Mental Stimulation

Stay mentally active. Engage in activities that stimulate your mind, such as reading, writing, working on puzzles, or playing musical instruments.

Regular Health Checkups

Regular health checkups can help detect health issues early and keep them under control. Conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s if not appropriately managed.

Treatment of Alzheimer’s

While there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, treatments can slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve the quality of life.

Medication

Several medications can help with symptoms of Alzheimer’s. These can include drugs to help with memory loss and confusion and medications to help with mood changes and other behavioral symptoms.

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy

Cognitive stimulation therapy involves various activities that stimulate thinking and memory, generally in a social setting. This therapy can help improve memory, problem-solving skills, and language ability.

Physical Activity

Physical activities and exercises are beneficial in managing some of the physical symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Regular exercise may also have mood-boosting benefits.

Social Engagement

Social engagement can improve mood and mental function. Activities could include participating in group activities, spending time with friends and family, taking a class, or doing volunteer work.

Home Care Providers: Your Partner in Alzheimer’s Care

At Home Care Providers, we are committed to offering personalized, comprehensive care to each client. We understand that each Alzheimer’s patient is unique and requires a customized approach to care. We can develop in-home memory care plan for your loved one.

Our team is trained to provide the necessary support, whether helping with daily tasks, providing companionship, or managing medication. We aim to provide care that enhances our clients’ and their families quality of life. If your loved one requires reliable, quality senior care, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.