June marks the official Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, started by the Alzheimer’s Association. This month-long awareness campaign seeks to inform people about Alzheimer’s and related brain diseases, their related warning signs and quality-of-life focused care methods.
Surprising Statistics about the Impact of Alzheimer’s
Although awareness surrounding Alzheimer’s and dementia is increasing, there are still some statistics that may surprise you. Here are some statistics on just how widespread the disease is:
- 47 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s or dementia and the rate continues to rise.
- It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States
- Of the top ten causes of death, it is the only one that cannot be truly prevented or cured.
- Nearly 2/3 of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women
Tell-Tale Signs to Watch Out For
The warning signs go beyond memory loss and confusion. People often confuse the signs with natural characteristics of aging. If you or a loved one experience one or more of the following, be sure to contact your medical care provider immediately:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Inability to follow simple instructions
- Forgetting how to or not being able to pay bills or follow a recipe
- Difficulty writing or speaking
- Forgetting where you are and/or how you got there
- Sudden loss of time and sense of location
- Poor judgment which may include a sudden interest in gambling, donating money frequently to charities, eating or drinking excessively
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s and related brain diseases at this time, getting care as soon as possible is worth it. Doctors may be able to prescribe medicine to slow down the progression and stabilize the patient.
Advice for Loved Ones & Caregivers
Caring for someone with memory loss is never easy. You may find yourself feeling exasperated, depressed and isolated. Caregivers and loved ones who educate themselves on the disease may be able to deal with the process better. Ask your doctor to provide you with detailed information about each stage of the disease so you prepared for the progression and what it brings.
Having a support community is crucial. You may need to reach out beyond your family and friends for support. Look for a group for caregivers and family members of people with Alzheimer’s in your local area. Contact the Alzheimer’s Association for advice and resources. Just being able to chat with people who know what you are going through can be a relief.
Be sure to know when to ask for help. The health care professionals at Matrix Home Health Care are prepared to offer those dearest to you the care they deserve. In home health care services allow your loved one to stay in a familiar environment while receiving 24/7 nursing care and attention. Our residential care home is another option available for memory care clients. To learn more about these services for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in Minnesota, contact Matrix Home Health Care Specialists today.