September is World Alzheimer’s Month. Alzheimer’s affects parts of the brain that control memory, thought, and language and makes up 60% to 80% of dementia cases. It’s the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and there is no cure. However, risk can be minimized. How? Experts believe lowering blood pressure, exercising, and not smoking can contribute positively. We want to share some facts and how you can actively support the Alzheimer’s cause.
Alzheimer’s isn’t a normal part of aging. About 5% of Americans under the age of 65 have early-onset Alzheimer’s and there’s one new case every 65 seconds. It worsens over time so in its early stages, memory loss is mild. As it progresses people lose the ability to carry a conversation and respond to their environment. A person can go as long as 8 years before symptoms become noticeable to others. The treatments available now can slow down symptoms and improve quality of life.
While memory loss is one of the first warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s not the only one. Other signs that someone is in the early stages are if they have difficulty:
- Remembering new things
- Doing familiar activities
- Understanding change of months or seasons
- Finding things
Make an appointment for a thorough physical examination. A doctor can evaluate symptoms, assess personal risk factors, and help obtain appropriate care. An early diagnosis can treat reversible causes of memory loss in Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. So don’t wait.
How To Support
1. Honor A Caregiver
The Alzheimer’s Association has a website where tributes can be left for caregivers to show appreciation. You can share yours and read through the stories of other caregivers and people with Alzheimer’s.
2. Wear Purple
Purple is the official color of Alzheimer’s Awareness. Wearing purple and encouraging others to do the same is a great conversation starter that can raise awareness. Wearing clothing items with the hashtag #ENDALZ is also a great way to let others know about it.
Financial donations are tax-deductible and are a practical way to help. The donations fund studies and research that help understand more about Alzheimer’s.
If you are considering a nursing home or assisted living for a loved one in northern NJ, The Little Nursing Home of Montclair offers a cozy and calm atmosphere with the comforts of home. We are family-owned for over 60 years and run by experienced registered nurses. Call or email us for more info or to schedule a tour.