Alzheimer’s is one of the most common diseases in the world, with approximately three million new cases diagnosed in the United States each year. Because of its prevalence, there are a number of myths that have made their way into the public consciousness. If you’re concerned your elderly loved one may have Alzheimer’s, it’s important to know what information surrounding the disease is true. To ensure you have the facts about Alzheimer’s disease, here’s a list of common Alzheimer’s myths.
1. It’s Just Memory Loss
The most persistent myth about Alzheimer’s is that the disease is the same as normal memory loss. While there is a relationship between Alzheimer’s and memory, the memory problems most people experience are normal parts of the aging process, not symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Unlike regular memory loss, Alzheimer’s is characterized by other cognitive challenges, such as severe confusion, poor judgment, and difficulty with abstract thinking.
2. It Only Affects the Brain
Because the physical symptoms of Alzheimer’s only appear in the advanced stages of the disease, many people don’t realize Alzheimer’s affects the body as well as the mind. The physical symptoms of Alzheimer’s, which include difficulty swallowing and incontinence, can often lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia and urinary tract infections. When Alzheimer’s reaches this point, it’s critical that your loved one receives professional care to ensure he or she remembers to eat and drink and is kept comfortable and safe.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of at-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
3. It’s Preventable
While there’s no surefire way to prevent Alzheimer’s, there are treatments designed to minimize its side effects and delay the onset of some symptoms. To slow the progress of some Alzheimer’s symptoms, you can encourage your loved one to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine, avoid alcohol and tobacco, and stay socially active.
While caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be challenging, you’re not alone. The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Potomac Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
4. It Can Be Treated with Natural Remedies
Natural remedies such as ginseng and ginkgo biloba have been touted as effective methods for preventing or treating Alzheimer’s disease. In reality, however, Alzheimer’s is an extremely complex disease, and the most effective ways to treat it are with prescription medications and other types of therapy recommended by doctors.
5. It Only Affects Elderly People
Although Alzheimer’s is much more common in older adults over the age of 65, 5 percent of people with the condition are between the ages of 30 and 60. This means in the United States alone, approximately 200,000 people in this age range are living with Alzheimer’s. This form of the disease, known as early-onset Alzheimer’s, can be extremely challenging for doctors to diagnose because the symptoms are often ascribed to other causes, such as anxiety or stress, and most people, including physicians, don’t expect younger adults to have it.
While there’s no current cure for Alzheimer’s, a professional caregiver can help your loved one live with the symptoms of the disease in the comfort of home. Families looking for top-rated Potomac home care providers can reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (301) 363-2580.