FAQs About Alzheimer’s

October 15, 2020 | BY PHS Staff

If your loved one, perhaps a parent or spouse, suffers from memory loss and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you naturally have a lot of questions on what the disease is, how it will affect your loved one, and what you can do to help. First and foremost, it’s important to obtain the right Alzheimer’s care services for your loved one.

Here are some FAQs about Alzheimer’s that we thought may be helpful.

Q: What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

A: It is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to die. It’s the most common cause of dementia, a continual decline in social, thinking and behavioral skills that can disrupt a person’s ability to function independently. Some common symptoms include trouble with memory, thinking and reasoning, changes in personality and behavior, making judgements and decisions, and planning and performing familiar tasks.

Q: How Many People Have Alzheimer’s?

A: More than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, with an estimated 5.8 million people age 65 and older living with this disease in 2020. Eighty percent are 75 or older, and one in 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

 

Q: What Are the Early Symptoms of Dementia?

A: Each person is unique, and dementia such as Alzheimer’s will affect people differently. While an individual’s personality, health and lifestyle are all important factors in determining what the impact of dementia will be, there are broad similarities. The most common are memory loss, as well as the loss of practical abilities, which may result in withdrawal from work or social activities.

Early signs may involve forgetting recent events or conversations, but as the disease progresses, the individual can develop severe memory impairment, losing the ability to carry out everyday tasks.

In general, the average length of life after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is eight years, although many people live longer than that.

Q: Is Alzheimer’s Hereditary?

A: While there are some cases where Alzheimer’s disease runs in families, there has been no direct link found between an inherited mutation in one gene with the onset of the disease. That said, those who have a parent, sister or brother with Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop the disease, with the risk increasing if more than one family member has the illness. When diseases are found to run in families, either genetics, environmental factors or both could play a role, says Alzheimer’s Disease International.

Q: Is There a Cure for Alzheimer’s?

A: Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or for most types of dementia, and a cure is not expected in the near future. Researchers are trying to find ways to slow down the progression of the disease, but they’re still unsure if it can be prevented from occurring in the first place, how to halt the progression, or how its effects can be reversed.

There are medications that can temporarily improve symptoms or slow the rate of decline, helping the individual maximize function and maintain independence for a period of time. However, there is no treatment that cures Alzheimer’s disease or changes the disease process within the brain.

Contact Preferred HealthStaff

Got more questions about Alzheimer’s disease and our approach to care here at Preferred HealthStaff? Rest assured, our caregivers are certified and trained in Alzheimer’s in home care, specifically in regards to memory-related disorders. To learn more about our Alzheimer’s home care, please contact us toll free at 866-943-9791 or in Fairfield 717-642-8500.