Alzheimer's Awareness Month
November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, a time when we focus on raising awareness about Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that affects the brain, causing gradual memory loss. It is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and currently has no cure.
This month, we would like to educate people about Alzheimer's and its symptoms and raise funds for research into better treatments. Family caregivers and healthcare centers are vital in helping those with Alzheimer's live their best lives. They provide physical care and help with activities of daily living.
Today, we take a deep dive into Alzheimer's disease, exploring its causes, symptoms, and current research on potential treatments. We hope that by becoming more informed about this devastating condition, we can continue to support those living with Alzheimer's and their loved ones.
What Is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia that affects the brain, causing gradual memory loss and eventual death. It is caused by a buildup of plaque in the brain, which damages and eventually kills brain cells. While there is no cure for Alzheimer's, current research into potential treatments has shown some promising results.
What Are the Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease?
Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease manifest as early as the age of 30. Some of these symptoms include:
- Difficulty with memory
- Poor judgment and reasoning
- Changes in speech or writing
As the disease progresses, those affected may experience even more severe symptoms like seizures and hallucinations. There is no definitive test for Alzheimer's, and doctors typically diagnose the condition based on a combination of physical symptoms and tests designed to assess cognitive function.
How Can We Address Alzheimer's Disease?
There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's, but treatments are available to help manage its symptoms. They include:
Doctors may prescribe drugs that address the symptoms of Alzheimer's, such as memory loss, sleep disturbances, and behavioral issues. This medication may include acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, the only class of drugs approved by the FDA to treat Alzheimer's.
Therapy and Support
Various types of therapy may also be used to address the emotional and behavioral aspects of Alzheimer's disease. This can include counseling or music therapy, which can help alleviate anxiety. It can also include support groups, connecting those with Alzheimer's to others experiencing similar challenges.
Family members of those affected by Alzheimer's can become family caregivers and help with activities of daily living. They may also need to care for themselves, as the stress and emotional burden of caring for a loved one can take a toll on their health.
To help address this issue, many healthcare centers offer support services to caregivers and those they care for.
New York State's Medicaid CDPAP program can also help many family caregivers through compensating a caregiver that the consumer (or their designated representative) chooses to care for them. This helps many family members care for their loved one while ensuring their financial needs are met. Elite Choice acts as a fiscal intermediary for the CDPAP program, supporting at home caregivers and their loved ones.
In addition to these treatments, there is also ongoing research into potential new therapies that could improve the lives of those living with Alzheimer's disease. Current efforts focus on early detection and delaying the onset of symptoms for as long as possible.
Impact of Alzheimer's Awareness Month on Those With Alzheimer's Disease
Despite the devastating impact of Alzheimer's disease, there's hope for a better future. Through education and research, we can continue raising awareness about this condition and support those living with it daily.
Alzheimer's awareness month plays a crucial role in improving the lives of those affected by this disease. By educating ourselves and others about its symptoms and current research, we can help support those living with Alzheimer's and their families as they cope with this condition. With continued awareness and funding for research, we can hope for a world where Alzheimer's is no longer a threat to our loved ones.
Together We Can Beat Alzheimer's Disease
As we mark Alzheimer's awareness month, let's unite to support those living with this condition and their families. Through education, research, and advocacy, we can help make a difference for the millions of people affected by Alzheimer's disease. Let's join forces now to help create a brighter future for all of us.
At Elite Choice, we strive to provide families and Alzheimer's patients with the care and support they need. Contact us today and we can help you naviagate the CDPAP program.
Written by: Leah Ganz
Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain management and internal medicine. She oversees all patient services across Elite's departments.