5 Facts about Alzheimer’s Disease

September 5, 2018

To a certain extent, memory loss is a natural part of the aging process. As we age, changes in the brain slow our ability to recall information, the hormones and proteins that help generate new brain cells are decreased, and blood flow to the brain is also reduced—all impacting our memory. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for seniors and their loved ones to brush off memory issues as just a natural part of aging. However, in many cases, memory loss can be a sign of a more serious condition.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that leads to memory, thinking and behavioral issues that go far beyond age-related memory loss. Symptoms are often slow to develop and over time become severe enough to interfere with even the most basic of daily tasks.

While researchers are working to better understand this disease which impacts so many, diagnostic tests and treatment options continue to be limited. And, currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s.

Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and is expected to continue to move up the list. This is in part due to the availability of treatments for other common diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, as well as the fact that many Americans are now living longer. In fact, half of adults age 85 and older have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t just effect seniors. While the majority of Alzheimer’s cases are found in seniors age 65 and over, in some, the initial symptoms of Alzheimer’s can begin as early as 30 years old. Early-onset Alzheimer’s effects nearly 5 percent of all Americans.
  3. Alzheimer’s disease effects more women than men. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, nearly two-third of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are women. Researchers don’t believe, however, that this necessarily means women are more prone to develop the disease than men. Instead, the higher prevalence of this disorder in women may be due to the fact that women tend to live longer.
  4. Early detection is key to slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s. Many of the treatments and therapies available for Alzheimer’s are generally most effective in those who are still in the earliest stages of the disease. That’s why it’s so important for seniors to address symptoms such as memory issues, difficulty planning and problem solving, difficulty completely familiar tasks and instances of confusion about time with their doctor as they happen.
  5. Approximately 15 percent of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s live alone. It’s estimated that nearly 15 percent of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, nearly 800,000 seniors, live alone. This can put seniors at greater risk of a serious medical issue, poor-self care, feelings of isolation and an increase in the progression of this disease.

Support for Alzheimer’s Disease at Episcopal SeniorLife Communities

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, its important for them to seek care and support right away. At Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, our memory care communities provide specialized care for those with Alzheimer’s. Our safe and secure setting and professionally design programs encourages seniors to maintain their independence and their dignity. Contact us today to learn more about our memory care communities.

Take the first step to a world without Alzheimer’s and join with ESLC staff in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This year’s walk will take place Saturday, October 20 at Frontier Field. Registration begins at 8:00 am and the walk is at 10:00 am.

Once again, Team ESLC will be participating in this fun and inspiring event to join in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Click this link to register (Team Name: Episcopal SeniorLife Communities) or if you are unable to walk, please consider making a donation to the team. Please help spread the word and share this info with coworkers who do not have access to email.

The end of Alzheimer’s starts with each of us. Together, we can (and will) make a difference!

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