There are many questions people have about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and you may have many concerns after learning about your aging loved one’s diagnosis. These conditions are progressive, and it’s common to notice the symptoms might not look like what you expected. Finding out the answers to your main questions is the first step to knowing how to plan for your loved one’s long-term care.
Are Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease the Same Thing?
There are several different types of dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease is one form of this condition. Alzheimer’s disease is irreversible, and it tends to follow a fairly distinct progression as time goes by. Alzheimer’s-related dementia may not have an identifiable cause, while other forms of dementia might. For example, drug-induced dementia is a temporary form caused by a reaction to medication.
What Are the Stages of Alzheimer’s-Related Dementia?
Alzheimer’s-related dementia goes through three main stages, although you might notice some overlap between different stages. The main stages are categorized as early, middle, and late-stage Alzheimer’s. Your loved one’s symptoms determine which stage he or she is in, and there are differences in how long each stage lasts, based on a senior’s health, treatment plan, and general support.
If your loved one is living with cognitive impairment resulting from dementia, help is just a phone call away. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Fort Myers Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Is Alzheimer’s Disease Genetic?
There’s some evidence that Alzheimer’s disease has a genetic component. However, current research suggests this is more likely to apply to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, which develops before the age of 60. Currently, it’s not recommended that people pursue genetic testing for the condition, since the research is still in its early stages. In addition, having a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s doesn’t necessarily mean a person will definitely develop the disease.
How Is Dementia Diagnosed?
Doctors use several methods to diagnose dementia. One of the first steps is to take the senior’s history. Your loved one may ask you to share information about his or her daily activities and where he or she faces challenges. Physicians also use cognitive aptitude tests to determine the level of mental functioning. They may also conduct other testing to rule out medical issues that can mimic the symptoms of dementia. Brain scans are another helpful tool for diagnosing dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Is It Possible to Slow Down the Progression?
Alzheimer’s-related dementia is incurable at this point. However, you can help your loved one slow down the progression of the condition by helping him or her follow his or her treatment plan. Make sure your loved one can get to medical appointments, and assist with medication management. Living an overall healthy lifestyle can also reduce the symptoms.
Seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s often need help to be able to live at home safely. Families looking for top-rated elderly home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
What Types of Care Will a Senior with Dementia Need?
By the time most people are diagnosed, they already need some level of assistance at home. In the early stages, this may mean helping them remember to pay their bills. Toward the final stage, they may need constant supervision. Make long-term care plans as early as possible to ensure you understand your loved one’s preferences.
Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Fort Myers families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 239.449.4701 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.