Though the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are over the age of 65, the condition doesn’t just affect seniors. An estimated five to six percent of all individuals with Alzheimer’s are younger than the age of 65. Those who have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease typically begin experiencing symptoms between 30 and 60 years of age.
Symptoms of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
It can be difficult to diagnose early-onset Alzheimer’s, as many of the symptoms are usually dismissed as being a normal part of busy lives. Many people with the condition are raising families and working and assume the early symptoms are from stress. When the symptoms are severe enough to interrupt daily life, this is when many people begin to seek a diagnosis. These symptoms may include:
- Difficulty completing normal tasks
- Memory loss
- Difficulty with problem-solving and planning
- Vision loss
- Problems with speech, such as difficulty finding the correct word or regularly saying the wrong word
- Misplacing items
- Avoiding people, work, and social events
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a professional caregiver can help him or her continue to live in the comfort of home. Families looking for top-rated at-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.
What Causes It
Most cases of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease take the common form known as sporadic Alzheimer’s. This type isn’t genetic, and it isn’t known why some people acquire the disease at such an early age.
A smaller portion of those with the condition develop familial Alzheimer’s disease. This type is connected to genetics. Scientists have discovered this type is linked to three genes—APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2. Though these genes are found in only one percent of seniors with Alzheimer’s, they’re found in 11 percent of younger individuals with the condition.
Living with the Condition
Though the condition is difficult to handle at any age, those who are younger may have an especially difficult time. Younger people with Alzheimer’s often face a stigma about their condition, including people not believing they have the disease due to their age, which may make it difficult to get the help they need. Individuals diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s also may lose their jobs as a consequence of their symptoms or relationships because their partners may find it difficult to handle.
A person who finds out he or she has the condition should talk to someone in his or her company’s human resources department as soon as possible. This can prevent a loss of income until a more suitable position is found. The representative can also help the individual with Alzheimer’s explore what benefits he or she may have, which may include benefits under the Americans with Disability Act, time off work through the Family and Medical Leave Act, or insurance through COBRA after leaving a job.
Living with Alzheimer’s is significantly more challenging for older adults. 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 home care Ashburn, VA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Effect on Family Members
Talking to a partner about the condition can be difficult. Once a partner realizes he or she will someday become a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s, this can change the relationship. Doing as many activities together for as long as possible, finding a counselor who helps couples in these types of situations, and keeping communication open can help couples face these challenges together. Experts recommend being honest with other family members, such as children, to help everyone understand what’s going on and support each other as much as possible.
While caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be challenging, families aren’t 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. Ashburn Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. To learn more about our highly trained caregivers, call us at 703-423-0783.
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