07 Mar Alzheimer’s in Seniors
One of the biggest concerns many people have for loved ones they have that are seniors is the possibility that they’ll develop Alzheimer’s. This common form of dementia can greatly disrupt the well-being of seniors along with their most cherished relationships. So, how can you spot the development of Alzheimer’s in seniors and how can you support a loved one with the condition?
How Alzheimer’s Affects the Brain
While Alzheimer’s disease isn’t a normal effect of aging, it is loosely related to what normally happens to the brain with age. As adults get older, their brains lose some mass, but this doesn’t typically result in a large loss of neurons. But in Alzheimer’s disease, the brain begins to lose large amounts of neurons as a result of diminished communication and broken bonds between neurons.
Alzheimer’s disease tends to begin in the parts of the brain associated with memory, including the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex. Eventually, the disease progress and begins affecting neurons in the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for social behavior, consequential reasoning, and language.
Early Signs of Alzheimer’s
Some of the early signs of Alzheimer’s in seniors tend to be subtle. It often begins with difficulty remembering recently learned information, which is soon followed by forgetting dates and events. People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s often misplace things, repeat statements, and easily lose track of time.
Some of the other early signs of Alzheimer’s include difficulties solving problems and a general withdrawal from social relationships. Eventually, these symptoms begin disrupting daily life, increasing dependence on others. If you spot these symptoms in an older relative or close friend, it may be time to have them evaluated for Alzheimer’s.
How Common Is Alzheimer’s?
While Alzheimer’s is typically associated with seniors, it affects roughly 200,000 people under the age of 65 in the U.S. However, the condition is closely linked with aging and the risk of Alzheimer’s significantly increases after the age of 65. Approximately 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 suffer from some stage of Alzheimer’s while 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have Alzheimer’s.
How to Support Seniors with Alzheimer’s
During some of the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s, seniors tend to maintain a degree of independence and can often still drive, run errands, and maintain relationships during the initial years after a diagnosis.
If you have a spouse, close relative, or a friend with Alzheimer’s, you’ll likely find yourself in the role of a care partner or caregiver as they require more support during their daily lives. This could include using cues during conversations to help them remember things. As the disease progresses, they may need additional help to maintain a healthy daily rhythm.
Alzheimer’s in seniors can progress to a point where caregiver stress and safety will become a concern, which is where memory care at a senior living community can be helpful. Here at the Heritage Garden Memory Care Neighborhood at Liberty Ridge Senior Living Community, our residents receive personalized attention from professionals trained to deal with memory loss, early-stage Alzheimer’s, and dementia, you have the peace of knowing that the time you spend with your loved one can be nurturing and personal. A secure, home-like assisted living environment that has been specially designed for these residents provides this assurance. The Memory Care Neighborhood at Liberty Ridge is just the place to take you through these tough times. Liberty Ridge is located in the Hamburg Pavilion area of Lexington, KY. Contact us today to learn more.