When an older family member receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, family caregivers may feel overwhelmed and uncertain of what the future will hold. One way to gain some control of the situation an ensure your loved one receives the best care possible is to learn as much as you can about the disease.
An Overview of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a kind of progressive dementia. Over time, the disease destroys a person’s memory, cognitive skills, and ability to do even the simplest of everyday tasks. Most people begin to have symptoms in their mid-60s. However, some people are stricken by early-onset Alzheimer’s, which can occur as early as a person’s 30s.
The brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease develop plaques and tangles that are not normal for a healthy brain. Nerves in the brain lose their connections, which impacts their ability to send messages to other parts of the brain and the body.
Damage to the brain usually starts in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that controls memory. The damage spreads as the disease progresses, affecting other parts of the brain and causing tissues in the brain to shrink.
The life expectancy for people with dementia varies widely. Some people live only about 4 years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. However, people who are diagnosed at a younger age often live longer, sometimes 10 years or more.
According to the National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s disease is currently listed as the sixth most common cause of death in the United States. However, more recent information indicates it might actually be third for older adults.
What Elder Care Can Do to Help
One thing that is important for families affected by Alzheimer’s to know is that they are not alone. Approximately 5.5 million people in the United States have the disease. Though that is a grim statistic, it also means that there is a great deal of support available to those who seek it out.
One way to get your older family member the help they need is by contacting an elder care agency. Elder care agencies send qualified and fully vetted providers to the senior’s home to offer non-medical assistance. Elder care providers can keep the older adult safe, even in the late stages of the disease when judgement is severely affected. Elder care providers can also offer emotional support and comfort as well as activities that prevent boredom and frustration. In addition, they can help with basic care, including bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Bowie, MD please contact the caring staff at Just Divine Home Care Agency today at (301) 219-1585.