Understanding the challenges, diagnosis and options available
Alzheimer's disease can be one of the most emotional and devastating diagnoses that effects an individual and their family. As a progressive brain disorder, the disease depletes memory and thinking skills, making even daily life tasks difficult. Estimates vary, but experts suggest that more than 5 million Americans may have some form of Alzheimer’s. It is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Although extensive global research continues to explore the causes and treatments, unfortunately no cure currently exists.
Alzheimer’s disease damages the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls the formation of memories. Vital nerve cell connections to the brain also begin to deplete which prevent the brain from sending messages to the body's muscles and organs. Over time, as nerve cells perish, other parts of the brain are altered.
Simple activities like preparing a small meal, spending time outdoors or driving a car become more difficult for your loved one. As the disease progresses, your loved one can get lost easily, misplace items and even become confused doing the most basic of tasks. As the disease advances, some personalities can develop into a worried, angry, or even violent state.
Treatments for Alzheimer’s disease can include a variety of options and modalities. Working with professionals such as an Occupational Therapist, Neurologist and Geriatrician can help greatly. Cognition-enhancing medication can also prove helpful for some people. Research that is helping loved ones and caregivers establish a better quality of life with Alzheimer’s disease is on-going but keeping your loved one safe is often the greatest challenge.
Oasis Senior Advisors of Northern Colorado can provide you with support and guidance when you feel it’s time for your loved one to move to a memory care or assisted living community. We offer many free resources so you can feel confident in your senior housing selection. To learn more, visit oasissenioradvisors.com/northern-colorado or call 970-218-5982.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Stacy Wagner, Senior Living Advisor with Oasis Senior Advisors Northern Colorado. She may be reached at 970-218-5982 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org