Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that typically impacts people during the later stages of life. As the brain becomes increasingly affected by this disorder, seniors have a harder time completing many of their basic daily functions, necessitating 24/7 Alzheimer’s care in Las Vegas. Due to the difficult nature of this disease, those taking care of senior family members often have a wealth of questions. Following are eight of the most common questions people have concerning the health and wellbeing of a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s.
1. What is dementia?
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are often used interchangeably, but dementia is an umbrella term that encompasses a number of symptoms affecting intellectual functioning. Among the aging population, Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia.
2. What are the most common causes of Alzheimer’s disease?
The causes of Alzheimer’s are not fully understood. Although people can develop this disease in their 40’s and even in their 30’s, age remains the greatest risk factor. Early onset Alzheimer’s is familial, or inherited, while Alzheimer’s among aging adults is known as sporadic Alzheimer’s. Only 5 to 10 percent of all Alzheimer’s cases are familial or inherited.
3. How is Alzheimer’s diagnosed?
In approximately 90 percent of Alzheimer’s cases, doctors are able to make correct diagnoses based upon mental and behavioral symptoms through a comprehensive patient examination. However, Alzheimer’s can only be conclusively confirmed, through an autopsy.
4. What are the stages of Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s typically progresses through three distinct stages. These include the pre-symptomatic stage, mild cognitive impairment and dementia. During the first stage of Alzheimer’s, no notable symptoms are likely to manifest. However, certain biomarker tests performed in a clinical setting may be able to detect evidence of the developing illness. Mild Cognitive Impairment, or MCI, is the stage of Alzheimer’s that lies between moderate memory loss and dementia. It is during this stage that most people are diagnosed. Alzheimer’s dementia can range from mild to severe, with people typically progressing from mild, to moderate to severe dementia as the Alzheimer’s progresses.
5. Do memory problems suggest that a person has Alzheimer’s?
Some memory loss is normal during the later stages of life. However, if a family member or caregiver notices increased difficulty focusing, an inability to manage money or handle routine responsibilities and loss of orientation, it’s cause for concern. In Las Vegas, home care agencies can help family caregivers with their caregiving duties.
6. What are some of the most common Alzheimer’s symptoms?
Given the progressive nature of Alzheimer’s, symptoms tend to increase in severity over time. In addition to progressive memory loss, people can become disoriented in terms of their location, the day, or time. They may also have a hard time recognizing close friends and family members and even basic objects. Alzheimer’s patients can forget how to use familiar objects and as the disease progresses, loss of appetite, loss of bladder control, and other issues are likely to occur.
7. How important is early diagnosis?
As with all progressive illnesses, Alzheimer’s can be best controlled through the timely implementation of a treatment plan. Although this disease cannot be cured, there are some symptoms that can be limited or even reversed, including nutritional deficiencies, depression, metabolic changes, and adverse reactions to drugs.
8. How long do people typically live after having been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s?
The progression of Alzheimer’s is different for each person. With adequate care and efforts on the part of family members and caregivers, many seniors with Alzheimer’s live 8 to 20 years after having been diagnosed.
If you suspect your senior loved one has Alzheimer’s it’s imperative to take him or her to a physician immediately. It’s also important to begin thinking about long-term Alzheimer’s care. With Home Care Assistance, you can count on reliable 24/7 live-in care in Las Vegas, and feel peace of mind knowing your senior loved one is cared for around-the-clock. Our caregivers are highly trained and utilize the Cognitive Therapeutics Method to help delay the onset of dementia, slow cognitive decline, and build routine. Call (702) 550-3185 to speak with an experienced Care Manager who can schedule your complimentary, no-obligation consultation.