Alzheimer’s is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease, initially impeding the ability to organize and plan, and eventually taking away an individual’s ability to care for themselves. The disease has no cure, and available treatments cannot appreciably slow its progress. If you are faced with caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s, you need all the information you can get. Knowledge, as they say, is power, and knowledge will give you the power to make good decisions.
Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia, and it has some features in common with other types of dementia. However, there are distinct differences, including how Alzheimer’s is to be treated, and what the treatments are.
Characteristic of Dementia
Dementia affects mental function and diagnosing it does involve judging mental functions. That includes gauging executive function (planning, focusing, multi-tasking), memory, language use and understanding, and social habits. With dementia, at least several of the previous functions deteriorate with time, and can deteriorate to where the person needs care.
Alzheimer’s and Age
Generally, the older one gets, the higher the chance of acquiring Alzheimer’s. While it mostly affects people over 65, Alzheimer’s can also appear in people in their 40s or 50s (even their 30s). It is thought that the components that may cause Alzheimer’s in the elderly are the same as in those younger, that has not been proven.
Alzheimer’s and Treatment
Alzheimer’s cannot be cured, and the drugs available to treat it do not stop its progress for the long-term. Available therapies are palliative; improving the quality of life in some ways, without affecting the overall progress of the disease. Interestingly, exercising regularly, and getting treatment for high blood pressure, can help lower the risk of getting Alzheimer’s, or even help with its symptoms.
If you would like more information from us at Help at Home Homecare, consider visiting us at one of our locations, or calling us at 941-388-3117.