Recognizing Alzheimer’s Disease and the Benefits of Memory Care
Over 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and 3 million new cases are diagnosed each year. More than 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. These staggering statistics mean that you likely know someone or have a loved one who has a form of dementia. In the United States, 11 million people are acting as unpaid caregivers for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, an opportunity to learn more about this disease that is deadlier than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. This progressive disease starts with mild memory loss and involves the part of the brain that controls language, thought, and memory, impacting a person’s ability to carry out daily activities.
Research has not determined the exact cause of Alzheimer’s, but it is believed that several factors can play a part in the disease, including:
- Genetics: Family history may be linked to developing Alzheimer’s, though it is not guaranteed that if someone in your family is affected, you will be, too. Healthy lifestyle choices like exercise, limiting alcohol consumption, not smoking, and eating a healthy diet may help.
- Age: This is the best known risk factor for the disease.
- Environmental factors: Science is studying the potential connection.
- Changes in the brain: These can happen years before symptoms appear.
Since memory loss is not a normal part of aging, knowing the warning signs is important, especially if you have concerns about a loved one. Someone may experience the following symptoms early in the process:
- Challenges executing familiar tasks at home, work, or during leisure time
- Disruptions in daily life due to memory loss, like repeating questions or becoming lost in a familiar place
- Difficulties paying bills or handling money
- Mood, personality, or behavioral changes
- Losing items and not being able to figure out how to retrace steps to look for them
- Poor judgment
Memory Care Communities can benefit someone living with dementia as well as give their families peace of mind. Often located within larger assisted living facilities or in smaller residential settings, these specialized facilities can provide dementia care for residents with middle to late stage memory loss. The environment is secure, and full of safety features designed to enhance memory function and decrease potential confusion for anyone who lives there.
Memory Care focuses on giving aging adults a safe environment to stay engaged and active in a structured environment. Features can include art classes, physical therapy, fitness classes, music experiences, and communal dining to help residents stay socially connected.
CarePatrol has been helping families find the right senior care options for their loved ones for over 30 years. As specialists in the field of aging, CarePatrol Local Senior Care Advisors are able to match older adults to the right communities so they can live their best life, including Assisted Living, Independent Living, Nursing Homes, and Memory Care Communities. Reach out to see how we can help your family today.