I just read a very startling statement in an article at Great Care:
“Alzheimer’s is the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.”
That’s very sobering, isn’t it?
And now, there is a growing number of people with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Early-onset Alzheimer’s and dementia, also referred to as young-onset, is defined by the Alzheimer’s Association as the disease that affects people younger than 65-years-old. They say that nearly 4% of the more than 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s have younger-onset. Numbers are estimated to be more than 200,000 people in the U.S. have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.
The implications are dramatic because doctors are seeing patients in their 30s, 40s and 50s. These are people who are still in the workforce and bringing up families. It would seem that the article’s title, Parenting a Parent may be accurate for a growing number of young people.
Part of the problem lies in diagnosis. Symptoms are sometimes attributed to stress, so it’s really important to be diligent and even pursue a comprehensive exam by a doctor who specializes in Alzheimer’s disease if you have concerns.
And, another concern coming to light is that it is believed there is a genetic component to the disease which could affect the caregivers for Alzheimer’s patients, especially those with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Being a caregiver is challenging to begin with, but more so for Alzheimer’s patients. If the caregiver puts off self-care they are putting themselves at greater risk.
The Alzheimer’s Association is gearing up to meet the needs of caregivers for patients of Alzheimer’s Disease. There are local chapters of the Association nationwide where caregivers can find services and support. Find one close to you here. There is also a helpline professionally staffed 24/7 at 1-800-272-3900.
Learning more about Alzheimer’s and dementia can be one of the most proactive steps anyone can take. The more you know, the more prepared you are with insight, resources and services should you need them.
A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.
Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let’s make a difference together.
I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.
For that reason, the goal of every Keeping In Touch Solutions program is to provide a caring connection and service that both the elderly and their caregivers can rely on to make living that good life easier.
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