healtheo360 Wellness Blog

Navigating Alzheimer's Disease

Posted on Jun 11, 2018 12:06:57 PM by healtheo360

Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s Disease. (1)

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a degenerative disease of the brain that causes dementia. One of the most prominent symptoms of AD is memory loss, which will worsen over time. Some patients may experience changes in personality and behavior. Alzheimer’s Disease is generally genetically-inherited, and those who have relatives with the disease are more likely to have the disease themselves. Treatment depends on a case-by-case basis, but most patients do end up in assisted-living facility where they can receive the personalized care they need to combat the progressive disease.

While memory loss is the chief symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease, there are several other signs of having AD. The nature of the debilitating disease is progressive, so patients might not experience full on-set right away. In its early stages, patients still have most of their functioning ability although they might have difficulty learning and retaining information. In addition, they might require some assistance from a caregiver. Moderate stages of AD require more dependence on a caregiver for daily life. Patients in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s require the full support of a caregiver for all functions.

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In addition to memory, other aspects of cognitive function deteriorate due to Alzheimer’s as well. AD patients may experience language problems, vision and spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment. Here are some examples of things Alzheimer’s patients might experience based on the progression of the disease (2) :

  • Mild
    • Wandering and getting lost
    • Taking longer to perform daily tasks
    • Repeating questions
    • Personality and behavior changes
  • Moderate
    • Difficulty recognizing family and friends
    • Inability to learn new things, dress themselves, or cope with new situations
    • Hallucinations, delusions, and impulsive behaviors
  • Advanced
    • Brain tissue shrinkage
    • Patients can not communicate
    • Patients are completely dependent on caregiver

The increased burden on caregivers often forces families to make the choice of sending their loved one to an assisted-living facility at this time. Beyond the physical and mental burden of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver, the disease comes with a hefty price tag. Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient can cost a family anywhere from $18,000-$78,000.

Alzheimer’s Disease Causes and Treatment

While a specific cause of Alzheimer’s is still unknown, there is supporting evidence that suggests AD comes from a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. As a result, every patient will not receive the same prognosis. However, nearly all will spend time at an assisted-living facility. (3)

Currently, there are no medicines to cure Alzheimer’s, but psychosocial therapies and recreational activities such as art, music, pet therapies, and exercise can help slow the effects of the disease.

Caregivers can take simple steps to make sure their home is equipped to handle the needs of an Alzheimer’s patient. This includes labelling household items, installing safety locks, and establishing simple routines.

Join an Alzheimer’s Disease Support Group

Our Alzheimer’s support group is designed for both patients, loved ones, and medical professionals to share their stories of living with this crippling condition. Nearly 44 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease or a related dementia worldwide. This group aims to bring Alzheimer’s activists together to attack this paralyzing problem and find a cure.

A healtheo360 membership gives you access to the Alzheimer’s Disease Support Group to help you and your loved ones tackle AD together.






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