According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 47 million people, worldwide, are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Purple is the official color of the Alzheimer’s movement. Help bring awareness to this disease that affects millions by attending one of the many events in your community and put on the purple.
Most people with Alzheimer’s are over the age of 64. If your parent falls into this category, be sure to ask their primary health care provider about a cognitive assessment during their yearly wellness check-up. If your loved one exhibits any of these signs, make an appointment sooner than later.
- Memory loss that makes it difficult to perform the daily activities of living.
- Confusion with time or place.
- Increasing inability to find the right word when speaking and consistently loosing the thread of a conversation.
- Misplacing things on a regular basis.
- Increasing isolation with noticeable changes in their personality.
- Difficulty concentrating, to the point where they are unable to complete tasks that previously were everyday occurrences such as balancing their bank account.
The Latest Research
Currently, Alzheimer’s is diagnosed only after the disease has caused severe brain damage and symptoms have begun to appear. One of the most promising areas being researched today is the use of biomarkers for earlier detection. A biological marker is something that can be measured that is a predictor of the disease. Beta-amyloid and tau levels in cerebrospinal fluid as well as brain changes as seen on neuroimaging are currently under investigation as potential biomarkers.
There are currently 250 clinical trials focused on Alzheimer’s and other dementias that are looking for volunteers. Participation provides valuable insight into possible treatments for this currently incurable disease. The benefits of participation include obtaining state-of-the-art medical care at leading healthcare facilities for little to no cost. You are also at the frontline in terms of treatments that have not yet been approved for the public at large. The downside is the possibility of any adverse side effects to the treatments being tested and the possible ineffectiveness. By the time most treatments have made it to the clinical testing phase, there is reason for encouragement and hope.
As a family caregiver, it’s important to stay up on the latest research on Alzheimer’s that is occurring. The Alzheimer’s Association provides updates as well as information on current clinical trials. Know that you’re not alone. Many find it helpful to join one of the many support groups for both caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and for those who have the disease. No one really knows what you’re going through unless they’ve been down the road themselves.
One commonly recommended tip—be sure to receive respite care at least one or two days a week. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be uplifting and exhausting, all in the same breath. Contact a local senior care provider who has cared for countless individuals going through the effects of this disease. Your loved one will be in good hands while you recharge and rejuvenate.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Redding, CT, or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Danbury, CT at 203-731-2544.