Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that affects the brain. It’s a brain disorder that will eventually destroy brain cells, causing memory loss and impacting many other brain functions. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s and the average life expectancy for somebody diagnosed with this disease is between eight and 10 years (Alzheimer’s Association).
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it’s a good idea to take some time to understand better what Alzheimer’s is and how to properly support those who have been diagnosed with it.
It is a disease.
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that directly affects brain cells, destroying them and creating a host of memory related challenges. Researchers are still working to fully understand this disease so they can find a cure, and while there are certain risk factors that can increase over time, age is one of the most significant factors to consider.
The risk of developing Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia actually increases as people get older. However, people in their 40s and 50s can develop Alzheimer’s, more commonly referred to early onset Alzheimer’s.
Mental stimulation can reduce the risk.
By staying mentally active, such as reading books, playing strategic thinking games, writing, and doing other mental activities on a daily basis, including the crossword puzzle, people can reduce the potential risk of developing this and other forms of dementia.
There are some research studies that also indicate mental stimulation during the earliest stages of the disease can have the potential to delay the onset of more serious aspects of memory loss, at least for a few weeks, months, and possibly even years (Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation).
Proper support is essential.
No matter what the cause, when the earliest signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease begin to develop, it’s important to encourage that elderly person to visit with his or her doctor. Only a licensed and experienced medical professional can diagnose Alzheimer’s and it is the first step in getting proper care for that person.
The earlier that experienced care begins, the more likely that will include developing a routine, staying mentally active and stimulated, and helping the senior prepare for the years ahead. The best thing anyone can do is encourage a loved one with Alzheimer’s to rely on home care support services.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Arvada, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare West Denver. Call today: (720) 263-6060.