Alzheimer’s Disease is a type of brain disease, just as coronary artery disease is a type of heart disease. It is caused by damage to nerve cells in the brain. It is the most common form of dementia. It is a slowly progressive brain disease that can begin many years before symptoms emerge. Early detection and education are important steps to helping a loved one living with Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s Fast Facts
- By 2050, the number of people age 65+ with Alzheimer’s is projected to reach 12.7 million.
- About 1 in 9 people age 65+ currently have Alzheimer’s.
- Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
- 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
- Family members & friends provided more than $271 billion in unpaid care to people living with Alzheimer’s & other dementias in 2021.
Stages of Alzheimer’s
- Pre-Clinical Alzheimer’s Disease
o This stage in the disease may show no symptoms but will cause biological changes in the brain.
- Mild Cognitive Impairment Due to Alzheimer’s Disease
o This stage in the disease may show mild symptoms, but may not interfere with everyday activities. The first symptoms tend to be memory, language, and cognitive problems. Difficulty remembering recent conversations, names, or events is common.
- Mild Dementia Due to Alzheimer’s Disease
o This stage in the disease may show symptoms that interfere with some everyday activities. Tasks like handling money may be challenging. They may still be able to drive and work. Individuals may develop changes in mood, behavior, or personality as a result of the challenges they are experiencing.
- Moderate Dementia Due to Alzheimer’s Disease
o This stage in the disease may show symptoms that interfere with many everyday activities. Individuals are more likely to become confused, disoriented, suspicious, and agitated. They may also begin to have problems recognizing loved ones.
- Severe Dementia Due to Alzheimer’s Disease
o This stage in the disease may show symptoms that interfere with most everyday activities. Individuals’ ability to communicate verbally is greatly diminished. It may be difficult to eat, drink, swallow, and walk. They may become bed-bound.
While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are management steps that can be taken to slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life. Memory Care communities are available for those purposes. Adult caregiving is a full-time job in and of itself. Harmony is here to help you with the burden and bring joy, respect, and care to your loved ones living with the disease.