As the human body ages, there are many things that will change that you do not have control over. many people fear the aging process due to the Alzheimers disease and other conditions that are similar. In order to take a closer look at this condition, you need to know what Alzheimer’s is and how it works.
|SEE ALSO: Alzheimer’s: Symptoms and Treatments|
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that affects a person’s memory, thought process, and behavior. There are many different forms of dementia, but Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer’s affects a person’s daily life and routine which causes them to require care and assistance as the condition progresses. Alzheimer’s is a disease that worsens with time. According to Alzheimers.org, Alzheimer’s accounts for more than 50 percent of dementia in persons who develop this disease.
Many people believe that Alzheimer’s is part of the normal aging process, but it is not. There are a few factors that cause a person to think this disease is a normal part of aging, such as the risk factor of increasing age, and it generally affects persons who are 65 years of age and older, but this is not a disease that is normal for old age. Some people show signs of Alzheimer’s early than age 65 is known as younger-onset Alzheimer’s.
Risk Factors of Early Onset Alzheimer’s
Every disease has risk factors and Alzheimer’s is no different. the risk factors that affect people with Alzheimer’s cannot be changed, including age, heredity, and family history.
Age is the most common and greatest risk factor of Alzheimer’s. many people who develop this disease are at least 65 years of age. After a person reaches age 65, their chances of developing Alzheimer’s doubles every four to five years. Once a person reaches the age of 85, the chances of developing Alzheimer’s increases by a whopping 50 percent.
Family is another factor that contributes to Alzheimer’s disease. People who have immediate family members with Alzheimer’s disease are more susceptible to developing the disease than people who not have immediate family members with this condition.
Can Alzheimer’s Be Prevented?
Although there is nothing you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s, there are things you can do to slow the process of the condition and prolong developing Alzheimer’s.
Risk factors such as heredity, age, and family history are all common risk factors of Alzheimer’s that cannot be reversed or changed. Current studies and research suggest there are other risk factors that influence this disease, such as lifestyle and wellness choices.
Research suggests head trauma may be a strong link between a person and Alzheimer’s disease. Further research reveals people who experience head trauma repeatedly which causes them to lose consciousness is at risk in the future for Alzheimer’s.
The Heart-Head Connection
New research reveals brain health and heart health are connected. It is a fact that the heart pumps 20 percent of more of a person’s blood to their head which is the location where the brain cells consume more than 15 percent of oxygen and food that is found in a person’s blood.
10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimers
- Memory Loss
Memory loss is the most common sign of Alzheimer’s that people experience. Memory loss in this instance extends further than forgetting to run an errand or forgetting to do a household chore. Memory loss in this situation causes a disturbance in a person’s daily life. In some instances, people who experience memory loss due to Alzheimer’s repeatedly ask the same questions, heavily rely on post-it notes or other devices to help them remember things, and forget important dates and events. When memory loss occurs in a person, they often ask family members for help remembering things that they normally would remember on their own.
- Planning and Problem Solving
Planning and problem solving may become more difficult as days pass. Some people who have Alzheimer’s disease experience difficulty concentrating, working with numbers, and similar daily activities that did not pose any problems previously. Daily tasks that would be simple to other people, such as keeping track of bills or following a recipe becomes a challenge for people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
- Completing Daily Tasks
This is the time when driving from one place to another becomes a challenge. What was once a familiar place can become strange and unfamiliar to a person who has fallen victim to Alzheimer’s disease. People who suffer from Alzheimer’s may begin to have difficulty at their place of work and completing tasks around the home. Things, such as remember the rules to a game they enjoy playing or remembering directions to a place they travel frequently can become a blank, and they cannot remember anything that pertains to a lot of the activities they enjoy.
- Confusion (Time and Place)
Many people who suffer from Alzheimer’s often lose track of time, important dates, and the seasons. It may seem as if they are not in tune with reality at times. A lot of people who suffer from this disease end up in places where they do not know how they got their or where they are.
- Issues Understanding
Many people experience vision problems as they age, but with Alzheimer’s the aspect on vision is different. Some people who have Alzheimer’s have trouble reading. Other issues with vision a person may experience include color adjusting and determining colors and contrast. Some people who suffer from this disease have a hard time judging distance which makes driving a difficult task.
- Problems Speaking and Writing
Sooner than later, people who suffer from Alzheimer’s will have difficulty speaking and writing. Following and becoming a part of a conversation can pose a challenge. You may notice the person stop in the middle of their sentence and cannot finish their thought or they repeat themselves numerous times before they finish the sentence or their thoughts. Vocabulary may decrease and issues finding the right word to use during conversation will become increasingly difficult. Sometimes a person will call an item by another name, such as calling a watch a hand-clock.
- Problems Retracing Steps
People suffering from Alzheimer’s will put their belongings and other items in unusual places. Sometimes, a person may place their wallet in a fruit bowl, shoes in the freezer or refrigerator, and their keys in the oven. Retracing their steps to find the things they misplaced will be difficult and frustrating. This is a common time when people accuse others of stealing their belongings and it will probably occur more than once.
- Poor Judgment
Poor judgment is another factor that people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease face. During this time, a person may give generous amounts of money to the gardener or people who hold similar positions. Finances may become an issue due to this problem. Some people begin to pay less attention to their appearance and hygiene. Everyone makes a mistake or a bad decision every now and then, but a person who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease will frequently make bad decisions that will affect them and others.
As some people age, they prefer the company of themselves and may not want to go out as much as they did before. In this instance, Alzheimer’s makes a person remove themselves from everything they enjoy and the people they love. Many people become less involved in their hobbies and activities. Soon to follow, people will become less involved with their family members and family activities. A person’s job will be affected in this instance and may cause a person to explore other career options or want to retire early. The changes of this disease are devastating to the person experiencing them, and it is the primary reason they withdraw from social activities and surroundings.
- Mood and Personality Changes
During the aging process, it is normal for a person to experience mood changes, but Alzheimer’s takes mood and personality changes to the extreme. A person suffering from this disease easily becomes confused and depressed. Sometimes a person may be anxious or fearful and suspicious. During this stage of Alzheimer’s people are often easily upset and no longer want company or to be bothered with anyone or anything. People who suffer from this condition often panic when they are taken away from their comfort zone.
Scheduling a Doctors Visit
When you are planning your doctors visit, there are three things you need to do. The first thing you need to do is make a list of the symptoms you have been experiencing. Make sure you list current and previous medical family history and issues and other family illnesses.
The next thing you need to do list all of the medications you currently take. The medications you currently consume have a major impact on your mood, feelings, and behavior. You should list any medications you are taking whether it is aspirin or prescribed medications.
The last thing you need to do is answer all of the doctors questions. By answering the doctors questions honestly, you can find a method of dealing with this condition that will help you lead a normal life as much as possible.
Although you may be afraid of going to the doctors office, it is best if you schedule an appointment as soon as possible. There are different things the doctor can do to prolong the disease from taking over life, but things will get worse with time. The sooner you make your appointment and receive a diagnosis and determine if you have the disease, the sooner you can counter some of the effects of Alzheimer’s.
Walk to End Alzheimer’s
The walk to end Alzheimer’s is similar to the walk to cure cancer and similar causes. Finding a way to become involved is easier than you may have imagined. The walk to end Alzheimer’s is held by the Alzheimer’s association. To find a walk near you, you first need to find a website that allows you to locate walks to end Alzheimer’s that are close to you. Once you find a website, enter the zip code you wish to partake and find a walk that suits your needs. Once you enter a zip code, the website will provide you with different walks that are available in your area. Make sure you pay close attention to the dates the walks are scheduled. There is usually more than one walk within a 50 mile radius. You can participate in as many walks as you wish and show your ultimate support. When you find the walk you would to participate in, you need to register. You have the choice of registering as an individual, team captain, or a team member. When you complete these steps,you can begin fundraising and spreading the word in your community.