Alzheimer’s disease can be scary. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be developing symptoms, it’s important to see a medical professional. In the meantime, you may be wondering what this disease is, what it looks like, and what Alzheimer’s treatment may be right for you.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that primarily affects older adults. It leads to cognitive decline and memory loss, and it’s the most common cause of dementia.
It’s a very difficult disease to experience and it can be sad to watch a loved one suffer the symptoms. Sadly, it is very common, becoming a major public health concern because of its prevalence and impact on people.
Common Alzheimer’s Symptoms
If you suspect that you or a loved one is developing Alzheimer’s disease, you should speak with a medical professional. But just so you are educated, here are the most common signs and symptoms.
One of the earliest and most prominent symptoms is the loss of short-term memory. People with Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulty recalling recent events, conversations, or names.
As the disease progresses, it affects other cognitive functions, like language skills, problem-solving abilities, judgment, and spatial awareness. People may have trouble communicating, solving everyday problems, or recognizing familiar places and people.
Behavioral and mood changes
Alzheimer’s can lead to changes in behavior and mood, including agitation, irritability, depression, anxiety, and even hallucinations or delusions in some cases.
Difficulty with daily activities
As the disease advances, individuals may struggle with tasks essential for daily living, like dressing, bathing, and feeding themselves. Eventually, they may require full-time care and supervision.
Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the accumulation of abnormal protein deposits in the brain, including beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles. These deposits interfere with normal brain function and lead to the death of brain cells.
Alzheimer’s disease is progressive, meaning that symptoms worsen over time. The rate of progression varies from person to person, but the disease typically spans several years or even decades.
Possible Causes of Alzheimer’s
Medical professionals don’t fully understand the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease, but they do believe it involves a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
This can be scary, but it also can be encouraging. This means you can change your environment and lifestyle to ward off the effects of Alzheimer’s for as long as possible.
What To Do If You Receive an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis
If your loved one receives an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, it can feel overwhelming and emotionally challenging, both for you and your loved one.
However, there are steps you can take to cope with the diagnosis and plan for the future.
Seek medical care and a second opinion
Consult with a neurologist or geriatrician who specializes in Alzheimer’s disease to confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options. It’s a good idea to get a second opinion to ensure the accuracy of the diagnosis.
Learn as much as you can about Alzheimer’s disease (which is what you’re doing by reading this post). Understanding the condition, its progression, and available treatments can help you make informed decisions and better cope with the challenges ahead.
Develop a support system
Reach out to family members, friends, and support groups to share the diagnosis and seek emotional support. Alzheimer’s can be a difficult journey, and having a strong support network is crucial.
Legal and financial planning
It’s essential to address legal and financial matters early in the disease’s progression, while the individual with Alzheimer’s is still capable of making decisions. This may include appointing a durable power of attorney, creating an advance directive for healthcare decisions, and making arrangements for financial management.
Long-term care planning
Discuss options for long-term care and living arrangements with your loved one and their family. Depending on the stage of the disease, this may involve exploring in-home care, assisted living, or memory care facilities.
Develop a care plan
Work with healthcare professionals to develop a personalized care plan that addresses the loved one’s specific needs and challenges. This plan may include medications, lifestyle modifications, and strategies to manage symptoms.
Maintain a routine
Establishing a daily routine can give you and your loved one structure and predictability, which can feel reassuring. Consistency in daily activities and sleep patterns can help manage symptoms.
Stay physically and mentally active
Engage in activities that stimulate the mind and promote physical health. Cognitive stimulation, such as puzzles and memory games, as well as regular exercise, may help slow the progression of symptoms.
Address safety concerns
As the disease progresses, individuals with Alzheimer’s may become more prone to accidents and wandering. Take steps to ensure a safe environment, such as installing locks, removing hazards, and providing supervision as needed.
Consider participating in clinical trials
Clinical trials offer opportunities to explore experimental treatments and therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. Discuss this with the healthcare team to see if it’s an option.
Plan for end-of-life care
This is the step no one wants to take. But sadly, it will need to happen. Have discussions about end-of-life care preferences, including decisions about hospice care and advance directives, while the individual with Alzheimer’s is still able to communicate their wishes.
Once you or a loved one has been diagnosis with Alzheimer’s by a medical professional, there are some treatment options they will give you. It will probably involve medications, and it may also involve non-drug therapies.
Medications for Alzheimer’s Disease
A medical professional may prescribe medications that can help with memory, learning, and overall cognitive function. There are also medications that can help with behavorial and psychological symptoms
In addition to medication, you or your loved one can get involved in occupational therapy, speech therapy, and even music and art therapy. These things can help slow the affects of Alzheimer’s and make life more rewarding.
How To Prevent Alzheimer’s
Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. But there are many lifestyle changes you can make now that will reduce your risk of developing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Some of these changes include:
- Staying mentally active with puzzles and brain games
- Staying physically active by taking walks every day
- Eating healthy by consuming lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins
- Maintaining social connections so you stay happy and loved
- Getting plenty of sleep so your brain has time to restore and heal
- Limiting alcohol and not smoking as these can increase your risk of Alzheimer's
- Getting regular health check-ups
Ultimately, you need a healthy brain and body and to have a healthy outlook on life. Anything you can do to support the health of your brain, the strength of your body, and your daily mood will help you in reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s symptoms.
That’s where the Soul Drops Wellness Trio comes into play. These three superfood powder mixes will…
- Improve your daily mood
- Help your brain operate to its full potential
- Give you an energy boost throughout your day
- Curb your anxiety and stress
These are all deterents against the affects of Alzheimer’s. And it’s super easy to use – just scoop the recommend daily dosage into your favorite drink and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions About Alzheimer’s Disease
Here are the most commonly asked questions about Alzheimer’s Disease…
What are coping strategies for dementia patients?
Alzheimer’s is the main cause of dementia. Some coping strategies that help many people include: get plenty of sleep, keep a routine, do brain games and puzzles, nurture your social circle, and stay physically active.
What is Alzheimer’s disease and how is it treated?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that mainly affects older adults. It casues cognitive decline and memory loss. It’s treated with medications as well as different therapies, like occupational, behavioral, and even music and art therapy.
What is the best treatment for Alzheimer’s?
The best treatment is prevention, so it’s important to stay mentally and physically active, eat a healhty diet, limiting your alcohol intake, and getting regular health check-ups.