Though Alzheimer’s is not a particularly rare disorder, most people only know a few of the basic details about the condition. To help seniors and their families gain a better understanding of Alzheimer’s, the Warren Alzheimer’s care experts at Home Care Assistance discuss a few lesser-known facts about the disease.
1. Over Half of All Seniors with Alzheimer’s Are Unaware of Their Condition
One of the most startling facts about Alzheimer’s is that many seniors actually have the disease for years before they are properly diagnosed. Seniors often attribute memory loss and personality issues to their age without realizing they are in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s. Most experts agree people should have their cognitive skills tested at least once a year starting around the age of 55.
2. Women Have a Higher Risk of Developing the Disease
According to a study published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, women are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as men. However, researchers have not been able to figure out exactly why women develop this disorder at much higher rates. The leading theory about this phenomenon is that one in seven women have a specific gene known as APOE-E4, which is closely associated with Alzheimer’s.
3. Alzheimer’s Is Tied to Heart Disease
Not only does heart disease increase a senior’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s, but it can also cause other forms of dementia, which is why most doctors suggest sweeping lifestyle changes to slow the rate of cognitive decline and minimize the side effects of dementia. Seniors can often prevent these complications by exercising at least 4 or 5 days a week and sticking to a heart-healthy diet.
4. Learning Can Reduce the Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s
A recent study funded by the National Institute on Aging found education plays an important role in preventing Alzheimer’s. Older adults who continue to learn new information and challenge their cognitive abilities have much lower rates of dementia. Seniors can reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s by taking a class, learning a new language, or learning to play an instrument.
There are many steps your aging loved one can take to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. For instance, hiring a caregiver from Home Care Assistance has many benefits in this regard. We offer a revolutionary program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), which uses activities to help slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For more information on CTM and the elder home care Warren families believe in, call 908.450.9400 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.