According to the Alzheimer’s Association, every 65 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. At the moment, approximately 4.5 million people have this disease. If the disease keeps spreading with the same rate, almost 14 million people will be affected by Alzheimer’s by 2050.
This disease usually affects people that are 65 or older, but it’s not uncommon for younger people to get affected as well. Because of that, it is important to point out that you and your loved ones to conduct medical check-ups regularly and be on the lookout.
As medicine gets more sophisticated and our understanding of the disease increases, doctors keep finding out new and more advanced ways to test for Alzheimer’s. It is fortunate that this disease can be detected in its early stages, but this can only be done if you take those tests.
What are the benefits to taking an Alzheimer’s test?
If you choose to take an Alzheimer’s test, you will find that there are several benefits for you and your loved one.
Here are just some of them:
1. Personal relief
It might come as a surprise, but many people will feel at ease when they get their diagnosis. This is primarily because even though the symptoms are often scare, once you know what’s going on, the steps ahead will be more obvious and easy to take.
This is the same when it comes to family members as well. It’s very hard, both mentally and emotionally to see a loved one acting in an unusual way. However, knowing that there is a medical reason behind it makes it easier to accept and realize how you can help them.
2. Planning time
The second benefit to early Alzheimer’s detection is that it will allow you some time to make preparations. The sooner you find out that you have this condition, the more time you will have available to start planning ahead.
In which way would you like to be taken care of? Would you prefer staying at home instead of a specialized facility? If you choose so, you can get some help in the form of in-home health care options.
If, however, you choose to stay at a memory care facility, knowing early on what ails you will give you more time to find the facility that best suits you for yourself, instead of someone else making the decision when you are unable to do so.
Another part of planning is that you will have more time to get acquainted with the legal, financial, or end of life options.
Early Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis will also provide your family with some time to prepare financially and emotionally in order to provide you with the best care they can.
3. More time to start treatment
Sadly, there are currently no treatments available that can reverse or stop the progression Alzheimer’s disease. Luckily, treatments exist that can lessen the effect of the symptoms and allow you to have a better quality of life for a longer period of time.
Either way, the earlier your treatment starts, the better results you will have.
Another option that you could benefit from is the possibility of participating in clinical trials. This is especially important because the more information doctors have about this disease, the better understanding they will have which will, in turn – help them provide better treatment to people in the future. Additionally, you might be presented with the possibility of taking part in experimental treatments that might have chances of slowing down or reversing the progression of the disease.
Some other lifestyle changes exist that can help you maintain your cognitive abilities for a longer time. Smoking or high blood pressure, for example, can reduce your cognitive function. Getting these into order will help you have a better quality of life.
There are also some activities that have been revealed of being able to improve cognitive function or lessen the severity of the symptoms. Some of these include social and mental activities, and exercise.
Getting an early diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease will leave you with more time to save up money as well. This can be done by taking advantage of the timeline your doctor has presented you with, and using it to your advantage.
Warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease
The early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease are not easy to detect. A great number of them can be disguised as normal occurrences that usually get attributed to aging. However, if you do identify these signs you should make a visit to the doctor and do the necessary tests.
Some of the common signs are:
1. Sense of confusion
It is not unusual for older people to get confused. It is, however, rather unusual if a person confuses time, locations, or people on a regular basis. If that’s the case, you might be dealing with one of the signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Memory decline
Most seniors forget their glasses on a rather regular basis, but this is not the kind of memory decline we’re referring to.
When it comes to Alzheimer’s-related memory decline, it is usually a more severe case of memory loss, the kind that makes day-to-day activities harder to do. People affected by memory loss brought upon by Alzheimer’s disease might find themselves forgetting where they left their belongings or where they’re located at the moment.
3. Personality changes
Personality disorders and mood swings can be another sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Getting aggravated for no apparent reason is a common sign, and especially so if that kind of behavior is uncommon for the person in question.
These people might also become antisocial, choosing to spend their time by themselves, and avoid activities that have more people involved.
4. Cognitive decline
Mental issues might also become more apparent, like having a difficult time making decisions or planning activities. People might also have trouble understanding visual information, as well as poor decision-making.
5. Other difficulties
Everyday activities might also become more difficult to do, and you might start suspecting that the person in question starts having issues with words or general communication. While everyone will forget a word or person’s name once in a while, if this happens on a regular basis, it might be an indication of Alzheimer’s disease.
What to do next?
If during your tests you receive a Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it might be a good time to start thinking about the future. You should also start making preparations in the form of living in comfortable surroundings where you will have a sense of security.
In order to do that, you should start looking into memory care facilities as early as possible. At Assisted Living Facilities, we have a plethora of options that will make it easier for you to make an informed decision that will ensure your future well-being and hold on to your mental capabilities for as long as possible.
We can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.