Affecting more than 5 million Americans, Alzheimer’s disease is expected to impact many other lives as the baby boomer generation continues to age. While the memory problems associated with the progressive condition are well known, there are some other facts about Alzheimer’s that may surprise you, like those highlighted here by Fairfield elder care professionals.
1. Animal Therapy May Help Ease Symptoms
Therapy animals are used more often to help people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia ease their anxiety. Animals also encourage engagement and socialization.
2. AD Is Usually Accompanied by Other Conditions
Many people living with Alzheimer’s have at least one other serious medical issue. High blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and diabetes are the most common co-existing conditions among 60 percent of AD patients. Diabetes, in particular, can present challenges due to the need to monitor blood sugar and pay attention to diet.
3. Learning May Reduce the Risk of Developing AD
Whether it’s taking a class or learning a new language, continued efforts to acquire new knowledge may reduce the risk of developing memory-related conditions. Learning in groups with other seniors can be especially beneficial by reducing instances of isolation that may contribute to cognitive decline.
4. Reduced Sense of Smell May Be a Sign of Alzheimer’s
The National Institutes of Health lists loss of a sense of smell as one of the more unique signs of conditions like AD. Since there could an unrelated cause, such as a sinus infection, let your loved one’s doctor determine if it’s something serious.
5. Alzheimer’s Has Seven Identified Stages
No impairment, very mild symptoms, noticeable decline, moderate impairment, moderate-to-severe decline, severe deterioration of cognitive functioning coupled with a general reduction of quality of life, and comprehensive impairment are the seven identified stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
6. AD Changes the Brain
Alzheimer’s alters important chemical structures in the brain as it progresses. Physical changes also occur, sometimes resulting in issues with sight and hearing.
For more information or help caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care Fairfield families trust. Our experienced and friendly caregivers are trained in the latest memory care techniques, provide safety monitoring, and offer emotional support. Call us today at 203-955-1915 to schedule a free consultation.