Here at Montes Medical Group, we know that identifying and treating diseases that the elderly commonly struggle with can go a long way in enhancing their longevity. Dementia is one of the conditions that seniors can be diagnosed with. Among the various forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form and can be the reason for memory loss and a continuous decrease in mental functionality. As time goes on, Alzheimer’s patients find it difficult to remember things due to reduced brain function and cell connectivity.
For any individual, getting diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming and fear-inducing. Most people face uncertainty about their futures and what they can do to protect their health. To support these individuals, we believe it is vital to spread awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. By making an effort, we can help people make better health decisions, lower their risk levels, and maybe even prevent the onset of dementia.
Keep reading to learn some important information about Alzheimer’s disease. By increasing our knowledge, we can help our communities fight against dementia and better understand how to help those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
The Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease
There are many forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common one, accounting for between 60-80% of all cases. There are millions of Americans over the age of 65 who are currently living with this condition, with the majority of them being 75 years of age or older.
Some groups of seniors have a higher risk, such as women, African Americans, and Hispanic seniors. Women make up over two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s here in the United States. As the population in our country continues to get older, we are expecting to see a rise in the number of seniors with Alzheimer’s as well. In fact, by 2025 there might be over 12 million seniors with this condition.
Although Alzheimer’s disease may begin with little to no symptoms, it does get worse over time. This condition might initially show only minor signs of memory loss but it could eventually cause significant cognitive damage throughout the brain. Areas of the brain related to memory, thinking, language, and movement can all be impacted negatively as time goes on.
For people who have existing health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or hypertension, Alzheimer’s can progress more rapidly. This pace can be even faster if other health conditions are being managed improperly.
The Three Stages of Alzheimer’s
People with Alzheimer’s disease go through three different stages of development. Through the early stages, most individuals can function on their own and complete daily tasks independently. This independence can even last for years, making the early stage of the disease quite mild.
The second stage is when damage to the brain starts to make an impact on a person’s ability to complete basic tasks. For example, people might find it difficult to communicate or do simple things like getting ready in the morning.
In the third and final stage of Alzheimer’s, the disease starts to get even more intense. Most people have a hard time doing anything independently and tend to need support from their caregivers, friends, and family members. Their health can also make them more vulnerable to infections such as pneumonia.
Lowering Your Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s Disease
Fortunately, there are steps that we can all take to reduce our risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Following a healthy lifestyle and making the right choices for our well-being is essential to laying a strong foundation and fighting against dementia risk.
People with chronic diseases should be sure to manage their conditions properly, ensuring health metrics such as blood pressure and blood sugar levels are at healthy levels.
Eating nutrient-dense foods, staying active, and finding ways to relieve stress are all important elements for reducing the risk of dementia. Reducing or quitting harmful habits such as smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol can also make it easier for the body to run properly.
As you can see, sharing information about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can be very helpful for those who are diagnosed and their communities. By building awareness, we can make it easier for people to reduce their risk levels of developing dementia and support improved care and advocacy for everyone impacted by this condition. As always, make sure to visit your doctor regularly and get examined on an annual basis.