What is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative neurological condition known for causing significant problems with memory, thinking, and behavior that become progressively worse over time. It is also the cause of up to 80 percent of dementia cases and one of the leading reasons for requiring daily assistance, either at home or in assisted care facilities.
If someone you love has Alzheimer’s, you know that it can be a tremendously sad and emotional battle, and that the need for medical management, palliative care, and help with everyday activities is essential. At Home Healthcare is a leader in providing in home care services and assistance to individuals across Texas, including those who have Alzheimer’s. Our team of licensed and certified professionals have extensive experience providing comprehensive dementia and Alzheimer’s care, and understand the unique needs of our patients.
To help you gain a better understanding of Alzheimer’s and why caregiving is so important, we have put together a list of some of the basics:
- Alzheimer’s Basics – Alzheimer’s is essentially a type of dementia, which is characterized by memory loss and a decline in intellectual abilities that can significantly interfere with daily life. While age is one of the most well-known risk factors of the disease, Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. Still, because it is a progressive disease, symptoms can become worse over a period of years. There is no cure or treatment to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s, but care can temporarily delay worsening of symptoms and improve quality of life. Over 48 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, and it is the 6th leading cause of death nationwide.
- Causes – Unfortunately, the cause of Alzheimer’s is largely unknown, with the exception of a very small percentage of cases where genetic differences were found. Generally, the disease most often affects people over the age of 65, as well as roughly 1 in 3 people over the age of 85, which makes age the greatest known risk factor. Other risk factors include a family history of Alzheimer’s, genetics, head injuries, and heart health. Scientists are also exploring possible risk factors such as smoking, diet, air pollution, and certain types of infections, among others.
- Symptoms – Alzheimer’s is known for its impact on cognitive abilities, especially when it comes to memories and learning new information. While memory lapses are common of anyone, more serious loss of memory as well as confusion and other substantial changes are signs of brain cell failure. Aside from difficulty with retaining new information, Alzheimer’s can slowly create symptoms of disorientation, unusual behavior or mood patterns, confusion, and difficulties with speaking or walking. Symptoms are often usually identified by friends or families.
While medical science has made tremendous strides in understanding the disease, there is still a lot to be learned about Alzheirmer’s, especially when it comes to determining what causes the disease, how to better treat or delay it, and how to prevent it from ever developing. What is known without a doubt, is that the disease can greatly impact an individual’s ability to meet the needs of daily life and care for themselves, and that caregiving is often essential to slowing symptoms and providing the support patients need to live comfortably.At Home Healthcare offers comprehensive supportive services designed specifically for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in the comfort of a patient’s own home. If you would like to learn more about our services, we invite you to give us a call today. We proudly serve the entire state of Texas.