Millions of families throughout the world are affected by the devastating impacts of Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease or any kind of dementia; yet, the more people understand the complexities of memory impairment, and the more research experts can accomplish, we gain a bit more ground on curing Alzheimer’s disease.
“We believe that awareness about memory loss is key to finding a cure,” says Lonette Bentley, Executive Director at Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola, a memory care assisted living community in Pensacola, Florida. “Unless it’s touched their family, many don’t realize the severity of Alzheimer’s disease. A lot people just think it makes a person forgetful. We hope that when society realizes how extreme Alzheimer’s is, and how much its prevalence is growing throughout our population, our country will be able to fund more research and make curing this disease a top priority.”
September is World Alzheimer’s Month, so it’s important to take the time to learn about the disease, how it impacts people’s lives, and what you and your loved ones can do to lower your risk. To help you get started, Clarity Pointe has shared ten important facts everyone should know about Alzheimer’s disease.
10 Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease: What You Need to Know
Alzheimer’s disease is not just memory loss. Although decreased memory is a major symptom of the disease, Alzheimer’s is actually caused by the decay of brain cells that affect different kinds of cognitive functions. Memory, thinking, planning and organizing, judgment, behavior and personality are all affected by the disease.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, more than 5.3 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Most of these people are ages 65 and older, but younger adults can have early-onset dementia that can begin to show symptoms in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
So far, researchers have discovered that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the buildup of proteins, sometimes called plaques or tangles, within the brain. However, the cause of these protein build-ups is still unknown. Some risk factors have been determined, including age, genetics, and head injuries.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, meaning that it gets worse as time goes on. Experts have categorized the symptoms of Alzheimer’s into three general stages: early-stage, mid-stage and late-stage.
In the early stages, most individuals experience few symptoms and can still function normally and independently. Mid-stage Alzheimer’s is usually the longest period of the disease, lasting up to several years. During this stage, symptoms such as memory loss and trouble communicating are noticeable to others and can make it difficult for the person to carry out familiar tasks. A person is considered to be in late-stage Alzheimer’s whenever they are no longer able to respond to their environment. The damage to the brain becomes so severe that individuals can no longer carry on a conversation or, eventually, control their movements.
Alzheimer’s disease is just one kind of dementia. Although the terms are used interchangeably, Alzheimer’s is just one cause – and the most common cause – of dementia.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It is also the only top ten cause of death that cannot be prevented, slowed, or cured. Yet, despite this mortality rate, the majority of those with the disease never receive a formal diagnosis.
Most people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are cared for by family members. By the middle stages of dementia, most people need full-time support to complete daily living tasks such as getting showered and dressed, eating, or staying on task. Unless they move to a memory care community for professional support, they are dependent on family members to help them throughout each day.
Proper caregiving can increase a person’s quality of life. It’s true that Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease, but it is still possible for someone to live a full life despite their diagnosis. With the right caregiving techniques and effort from family members, or residency at a leading memory care community like Clarity Pointe, those living with Alzheimer’s disease can continue to experience good physical health and take part in fulfilling activities for as long as possible.
You can decrease your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. While there is no guaranteed prevention for the disease, a healthy lifestyle can help to decrease your risk. Taking good care of your physical health by eating well, maintaining a healthy heart through diet and exercise, and getting enough sleep leads to optimal brain health. Keeping your brain mentally sharp has also been known to decrease your risk. Emotional health is important, too, as researchers have linked Alzheimer’s disease to mental illnesses such as depression.
Your can help create a world without Alzheimer’s. Everyone can contribute to the effort to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease from our world. Even if all you do is take care of yourself and spread awareness about memory loss, helping others understand the reality of the disease can move us forward. You can also get involved with your local Alzheimer’s Association® chapter, or help your community raise money for Alzheimer’s research. No effort is too small when we have so many lives to save.
Enhancing Lives for Seniors with Memory Loss
At Clarity PointeTM Pensacola, we work to enhance the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia through dignified, evidence-based memory care. Residents at our community thrive in an environment built specifically to meet their unique needs. From comfortable, secure settings to compassionate support delivered by specially trained caregivers, seniors live well despite their diagnosis. We offer daily engagement programs and activities that bring a sense of joy and purpose to our residents’ lives, and cognitive stimulation therapies even help to slow the progression of their disease. Families experience peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are in the best capable hands.
If you would like to know more about Alzheimer’s disease, contact our community or check out our upcoming events. We schedule regular events, lectures and seminars that educate families and the community about memory loss. Stay connected with our community and ask us how you can get involved in helping those with memory loss.
Clarity Pointe™ … Our Difference is Clear
Clarity Pointe™’s Specialized Memory Care “Living” Neighborhoods are truly changing lives for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias – and for those who love them. At Clarity Pointe, our mission is to ensure our residents lead connected and rewarding lives.
Unlike other providers that offer a secure memory care wing in a skilled nursing or assisted living center, Clarity Pointe Pensacola offers three free-standing, purpose-built memory care communities that are solely and entirely dedicated to memory care assisted living. Our communities blend luxurious surroundings with specialized care that is individualized to each resident and delivered by a compassionate, expert team of professionals.
We stay current on the latest trends and advancements in Alzheimer’s care and implement them into our residents’ care plans. Always moving forward, we combine the latest in evidence-based programming with luxurious, residential living and compassionate respectful care.
For each of our residents, we offer a life that is engaging, fulfilling, inspiring and meaningful.