28 Mar Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease: What You Need to Know
In 1994, just after leaving office, former President Ronald Reagan made a public announcement via a letter to the nation. It read:
“I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. … So now we feel it is important to share it with you. In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clear understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.”
This heartfelt and candid letter left the nation in a state of shock. Before Reagan’s official announcement, Alzheimer’s Disease hadn’t been a household name. Rather, the tragic degenerative disease had only been brought into public awareness after former First Lady Nancy Reagan and her husband lobbied Congress to fund more research toward curing the disease.
Luckily, there is a breadth of information and knowledge on the subject of Alzheimer’s available now that was never available before.
Here are some things you should know about Alzheimer’s and Alzheimers care:
- Early Diagnosis Makes a Difference
Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death. Amongst the top 10, it’s the only one that cannot be slowed, cured, or prevented. That being said, early detection is key to providing the best care possible. An early diagnosis means that the patient will have access to a senior care plan faster than will significantly improve their quality of life. Some early symptoms of Alzheimers include mood and behavior changes that are often misdiagnosed as depression.
- Other Illnesses Can Complicate Alzheimer’s
Individuals with Alzheimer’s typically develop dementia or, at least, one other medical condition, including diabetes, osteoporosis and hypertension.
- It Pays to Have In-Home Care
Family caregiving can cause both physical and emotional stress down the line. Caring for a loved one with deteriorating health is a full-time job, and can ultimately take a toll on one’s well-being. In-home care specialists can provide respite to family caregivers, assisting Alzheimer’s patients with basic living needs and companionship.
How has an Alzheimer’s diagnosis affected you and your loved ones? Let us know your experiences, thoughts and questions in the comment section below.