What to Know about Alzheimer’s Disease

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Senior with Alzheimer's

 

If you have an aging parent who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, learning about the disease can help you become a more informed caregiver so you can help your loved one handle symptoms, find viable treatment options, and offer support and assistance. Get started with the following information.

Alzheimer’s History

Alzheimer’s disease is named after Dr. Aloysius “Alois” Alzheimer, who identified the first published case in 1906. He linked symptoms to microscopic brain changes in a woman who exhibited noticeable transformations in her behavior. Because of these psychological changes, an autopsy was performed after her death, and her brain showed deposits and shrinkage around the nerve cells.

Initially, what would come to be called Alzheimer’s disease was thought to be a type of presenile dementia and not the same type of senility that was more common in older adults. This assumption was made because the individual Dr. Alzheimer was studying, Auguste Deter, was showing signs of memory loss while still in her 50s. It wasn’t until several years later that scientists discovered the brain plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease were more common in elderly individuals.

By the late 1970s, clinical trials were underway to look for medications that may be able to manage or slow symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s. Tacrine, the first drug developed specifically for this purpose, was approved by the FDA in 1993. Since then, four more medications have been approved specifically for people with Alzheimer’s.

Early Symptoms

The early symptoms of Alzheimer’s may involve mood changes, forgetfulness, problems with language skills, confusion, depression, impaired judgment, and the inability to concentrate. Symptoms range from mild to severe depending on the stage and progression of the disease.

There’s a direct link that shows symptoms of Alzheimer’s increase as people age. Many people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older, with a small percentage who have been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, meaning symptoms appeared in individuals younger than 65.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, help is just a phone call away. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading in-home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Stages of Alzheimer’s

There are three stages used as criteria to define Alzheimer’s. The preclinical stage involves brain changes that aren’t clearly obvious. Mild cognitive impairment is the second stage, and this is when memory loss becomes evident. Alzheimer’s dementia is the latter stage of development, when daily functions are adversely affected. During this stage, around-the-clock care will likely be required to ensure safety.

Aging adults who need help handling mental and physical health issues can benefit from the assistance of highly trained professional caregivers. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Rocklin Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Preventative Steps

It’s hoped that a better understanding of the phases of Alzheimer’s before symptoms are noticeable will make it easier to take proactive steps to delay and treat symptoms effectively. However, there’s still no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but researchers do know enough to offer preventative recommendations that include:

• Managing chronic medical conditions likely to affect the brain
• Following a diet that includes fruits, veggies, and other brain-healthy foods
• Getting regular aerobic exercise
• Making appropriate lifestyle adjustments
• Getting more restorative sleep

Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to manage. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Rocklin Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (916) 226-3737 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services. 

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