Alzheimer's Awareness: Five Facts About Alzheimer's Disease

Oct 6, 2014

El team Alzheimer's Awareness

Our EasyLiving/Aging Wisely team is excited for the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 26th! We have been raising funds and awareness throughout the year, and it is part of our ongoing mission to do so and help both clients and caregivers in managing life with this disease! Please consider joining us by participating or donating to the Pinellas County walk or an Alzheimer’s walk in your area!

Today, we share five facts about Alzheimer’s disease to help you understand more about the disease and those it affects. We encourage you to share this information (and any of our fact sheets or blog posts)!

  1. Alzheimer’s risk increases with age, though it is not a normal part of aging. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles about every five years after age 65. After age 85, the risk reaches nearly 50 percent.
  2. Dementia is the term for the range of symptoms associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. It is not the name of a specific illness, which often confuses people. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s (60-80% of cases) and the 2nd most common is Vascular dementia (related to stroke or mini-strokes).
  3. There is no singular test for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease (in a living person). A definitive Alzheimer’s diagnosis requires viewing the brain directly (i.e. at autopsy), but skilled doctors can diagnose with great certainty with a holistic workup and review of symptoms. It is likely that a good number of people suffer from some combination, such as Alzheimer’s disease along with Vascular dementia. Many of the treatments for the different diseases that cause dementia will be similar, but a thorough diagnostic workup is extremely important to eliminate potentially reversible/treatable causes of symptoms (drug effects, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid problems, depression).
  4. In 2013, 15.5 million family and friends provided 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias (valued at $220.2 billion). The toll on caregivers is immense: Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.3 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2013 and there are large financial impacts in terms of lost wages and opportunity costs (giving up promotions, limiting one’s own savings, etc.).
  5. About 800,000 Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are living alone. Some of these individuals do receive family and outside support, but many may be especially at risk of everything from social isolation to poor self-care, malnutrition and safety hazards. Alzheimer’s disease affects complex thinking and leaves individuals highly vulnerable to scams and challenged in managing self and household care. However, with proper support, it is feasible for many individuals with Alzheimer’s to remain in their homes well in to the disease/through end-of-life.

When you need help with Alzheimer’s disease questions, concerns or care, the EasyLiving team is here to help! Our expert team can offer assistance in all areas, from helping you find the right practitioners for good diagnosis and treatment plans to finding the right care options, developing a care plan and managing safely at home. Call us at 727-447-5845 to chat about your needs and concerns (or if you’d like to join us in supporting the Alzheimer’s Association)!

Topics: Caregivers, Care Management, Alzheimer's/Dementia

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