In 2019, estimates suggest that 5.8 million people live with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. This also means that tens of millions of friends and families have to cope with their loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s. While this condition should always be taken very seriously, it is important to be able to distinguish Alzheimer’s myths from facts about Alzheimer’s so that you are better able to understand and care for a loved one with this particular form of dementia.
The facts about Alzheimer’s are hard to face, but being honest about the disease can give your loved one their best hope.
Alzheimer’s Myth #1: Any Memory Loss Is Just a Normal Part of Aging
As we age, it is typical for the body to slow down in a few different ways. Many of us are familiar with the growing number of aches and pains that affect our knees, back, and various joints. It is also typical for the mind to slow down somewhat too, which is a result of the synapses of the brain not being able to fire quite as quickly as they used to. This can lead to occasional moments of forgetfulness or confusion, but Alzheimer’s is much more than just that.
Because Alzheimer’s disease impairs the memory, its symptoms can begin as little things like forgetting that you left your keys on the counter. Over time, these occurrences will happen more often, and larger things will be forgotten as well.
It can be difficult for friends and family to notice the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, though it is important that when these signs do present themselves that you seek professional help as soon as possible. Continuing to deny and ignore a loved one’s symptoms will not be beneficial for anyone.
Alzheimer’s Myth #2: Alzheimer’s Only Affects the Elderly
A majority of individuals with dementia will be diagnosed when they are 65 years of age or older, but that does not completely rule out younger age ranges from suffering from this disease. An unfortunate fact about Alzheimer’s is that 5% of all Alzheimer’s cases will occur in patients in their 30s, 40s, or 50s.
Often referred to as early-onset Alzheimer’s, or younger-onset Alzheimer’s, individuals under the age of 60 who have this disease often struggle to receive a diagnosis right away. This can be due to both the individual and their physician looking for other potential sources to their symptoms since dementia is so rarely seen in younger age groups.
Alzheimer’s Myth #3: Alzheimer’s Is Not Deadly
Alzheimer’s disease includes seven total stages, which traditionally take many years for an individual to progress through. Here’s a fact about Alzheimer’s that many people struggle to accept: at this time all cases of Alzheimer’s end in death. The disease will continue to deteriorate the person’s brain until all cognitive function is lost, leaving them without the ability to engage in simple speech or motor movements.
As mentioned, this process will take many years in order to take its full toll on the human brain. Typically, individuals with Alzheimer’s will pass from the disease in the first 4-8 years after their diagnosis, leading many to live well into their 70s and 80s before reaching advanced stages of the disease.
Alzheimer’s Myth #4: Alzheimer’s Is Curable
This particular Alzheimer’s myth can be one of the most difficult to accept, though it is a fact that Alzheimer’s disease is not currently curable. No known cure for this mental condition exists, and it is also unclear what causes the disease in the first place.
Here’s a more positive fact about Alzheimer’s: this disease and other forms of dementia are manageable. Individuals are usually able to maintain a self-sufficient lifestyle for many years. However at some point, even after receiving significant amounts of supplemental care from their loved ones, it is best for a person with Alzheimer’s to relocate to a Memory Care community where the full spectrum of their needs can be addressed around the clock.
Memory Care for Alzheimer’s In Castle Rock, CO
Residents of Assured Assisted Living have access to care from our Certified Dementia Practitioner personnel, each of whom have extensive experience in working with persons affected by Alzheimer’s disease at all stages. With this experience, our experts are able to offer the highest degree of personalized attention for those with memory impairment caused by dementia.
Stop believing in these common Alzheimer’s myths and start working toward a better future for you or your loved one by contacting Assured Assisted Living today to learn more about our Memory Care facilities in Castle Rock and nearby surrounding areas. Please call (303) 814-2688 or Schedule a Tour today.