Alzheimer's is a debilitating disease that affects millions of people around the world. While there is still much to learn about the disease, researchers have made significant progress in the past few years. In this article, we look at four new insights about Alzheimer's in 2022 that we can use to manage the disease better and support those affected.
The 5th-Leading Cause of Death in Americans Over 65
A recent report from the Alzheimer's Association showed that Alzheimer's disease is the fifth-leading cause of death in Americans aged 65 and above. This increase is due to a growing number of seniors in the population, and Alzheimer's disease is progressive.
There is currently no cure for this condition, but there are ways to manage it and support those living with the disease. These include;
- Lifestyle changes help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's
- Drug treatments help improve memory and cognitive function
There are also a variety of interventions that aim to restore lost function in people with early-stage Alzheimer's. These interventions include:
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Home care services
There's Growing Awareness of the Disease
There is growing awareness of Alzheimer's – both professionally and personally. More people are asking about the disease and how they can best protect themselves and their loved ones. There is still much to be discovered about Alzheimer's. But more people are taking precautionary steps against the disease. An increasing number of seniors are getting regular checkups and screenings for dementia for early detection. In addition, researchers are working to find other potential causes of the disease.
Researchers Are Working to Find a Cure
There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's, as the current treatment only improves the symptoms of temporary memory loss. However, researchers are hopeful and working hard to find one. In 2022, we see some promising developments in two significant areas:
Debunking the Causes of Alzheimer's
We know that Alzheimer's disease starts with a decline in brain function, but we don't know what triggers this decline.
Some experts hypothesize that genetic and environmental factors may contribute to its development. Others suggest that the cause of Alzheimer's is due to the accumulation of proteins in the brain (amyloidosis) combined with lifestyle factors. Intensive research efforts are underway to debunk the exact trigger for Alzheimer's.
Development of New Therapies
One of the most promising ways researchers try to find a cure for Alzheimer's is by developing new therapies. Some of these include:
- Interventions that stop or slow down the progression of the disease
- Treatments that can restore memory and cognitive function
- Developing new drugs that can prevent Alzheimer's
Achieving a cure for Alzheimer's will likely require a collaborative effort between researchers worldwide. But we may be close to finding a cure for this devastating condition.
Tips for Caring for Seniors Living With Alzheimer's
Studies on Alzheimer's suggest that lifestyle factors are one of the major contributors to its development. People who live a sedentary lifestyle or have high levels of stress tend to develop Alzheimer's at a much faster rate than those who are more physically active or don't experience too much stress.
A high intake of unhealthy fats and sugars leads to high levels of inflammation in the brain, which contributes to the development of Alzheimer's disease. Here are some tips to assist an elderly loved one living in Lakeland, Winter Haven, and Bartow in managing Alzheimer's symptoms:
- Live a healthy lifestyle by giving a balanced diet and getting into the habit of exercising regularly. Avoid high-fat and high-sugar meals.
- Encourage supplements to help support brain health, such as omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and B vitamins.
- Get regular sleep. Adequate sleep is crucial for cognitive function.
- Maintain social connections with friends and family members. Engaging in group activities like reading, watching TV, and playing cards or puzzles stimulates their interest and keeps the brain active.
- Maintain a safe environment. Keep the living space free of obstacles that could cause falls. Safety locks on doors, windows, and cabinets can also help guard against accidents.
- Consider using dementia-friendly products and services. Products and services that are designed to make a living with Alzheimer's easier can be a big help in managing the disease.
Provide support and quality time. Share your thoughts and feelings with your loved one, listen to their concerns, and offer assistance when needed. This will show them that you care about them and help to provide emotional support during this stage of their life.
Contact Senior Helpers Today
If you're looking for care for a loved one with Alzheimer's, it's crucial to find the right fit for your family. Senior Helpers in Polk County can help in providing the right level of individual care and support, while monitoring everything from daily activities to medication.
Ensure your elderly loved ones get the best care in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, Auburndale, and Haines City. Talk to Senior Helpers of Polk County about options available to you and your family.
Contact us today to schedule an in-home assessment.