Alzheimer’s Disease International reports as many as 50 million people worldwide could be currently living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia. Cognitive impairments of this nature often affect older adults, and family caregivers can be impacted as well. If you’re providing care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, here are answers to seven frequently asked questions about these two conditions.
1. Is Alzheimer’s the Same as Dementia?
No, but Alzheimer’s disease, as mentioned above, is a form of dementia. Alzheimer’s is classified as a progressive brain disorder, and one of its characteristic symptoms is memory loss. Dementia, on the other hand, is an umbrella term referring to cognitive impairment. However, about two-thirds of people with dementia do have Alzheimer’s, which is why the two terms are often used interchangeably.
If your loved one is living with cognitive impairment, help is just a phone call away. Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for the help they need. We provide high-quality in-home care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
2. What Other Forms of Dementia Could Be Affecting My Loved One?
Simply experiencing memory issues doesn’t automatically mean your loved one has Alzheimer’s. Similar symptoms are associated with many different forms of dementia. Some of the more common ones include:
- Lewy body dementia
- Vascular dementia related to strokes/mini-strokes
- Parkinson’s dementia (cognitive symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease)
- Frontotemporal dementia (a rare form of dementia related to dying brain cells)
3. How Long Does It Take to Notice Symptoms of Alzheimer’s?
Many people think Alzheimer’s starts when symptoms first become noticeable, but this disease can develop in the brain many years before cognitive abilities are affected. In other words, some seniors may first develop AD in their 40s and fail to show any signs of the disease until they’re in their 60s.
For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Fort Lauderdale families can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s care needs.
4. Is Dementia Hereditary?
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, most forms of dementia aren’t believed to be hereditary in nature, meaning it’s not likely such conditions will be passed along to children and grandchildren. However, some rare forms of dementia appear to have a strong genetic link.
5. What Are the Risk Factors Associated with Alzheimer’s & Dementia?
With Alzheimer’s and other common forms of dementia, age is the top risk factor. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association reports one out of every ten people 65 and older has Alzheimer’s-related dementia. Everyday Health cites research suggesting additional dementia risk factors, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic depression and anxiety
- Head/brain injuries
- Mid-life obesity
- Sleep-related problems
6. Is Alzheimer’s Curable?
No. Even so, researchers are working to identify more genes associated with this disease so additional efforts can be made to find a cure or allow for earlier detection. On a positive note, some forms of dementia not related to Alzheimer’s are reversible or treatable. For example, vascular dementia related to a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain is often reversible.
7. How Can I Provide Support for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s or Another Form of Dementia?
The first thing you can do is learn more about the type of dementia your loved one has, as this will give you a better idea of what to expect. As far as support goes, it’s generally advised to offer the type of assistance your parent needs in a way that still allows him or her to remain as independent as possible.
Many seniors with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia need help to be able to live at home safely. Families looking for top-rated Fort Lauderdale elderly 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. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call us today at (754) 432-8760.