Alzheimer’s Q & A
Do you have questions about Alzheimer’s Disease?
Q: What is Alzheimer’s disease?
A: Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible disease of the brain that affects memory, thinking skills, and eventually the ability to complete daily tasks. Alzheimer’s is one type of dementia, the most common form.
Q: What is Dementia?
A: Dementia is a general term for memory loss that is severe enough to impact daily life, and there are many forms.
Q: What causes Alzheimer’s disease?
A: There is no single known cause for Alzheimer’s. Risk factors can include advancing age and inherited genetics.
Q: Who has Alzheimer’s disease?
A: In the U.S., 5.4 million people have the disease and 50% of individuals age 85 and older have Alzheimer’s disease. Every 71 seconds a new case is diagnosed.
Q: Isn’t Memory Loss a normal part of aging?
A: Occasional memory loss, such as forgetting the name of someone you just met, can be a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s is much more severe than occasional memory loss; it is a disease that causes brain cells to malfunction and eventually die.
Q: What should I think about when moving a loved one into a long-term care setting?
A: Know that there is no “one size fits all” solution for your loved one. When thinking about moving a loved one into a long-term care setting, you absolutely want to know the preferences and needs of the person with dementia. Research options to decide which is a good fit. Talk to providers and ask about their training and how their facility caters to Alzheimer’s and dementia specifically. Take into account the feelings of the current caregiver or family member, even if that is you. Are you feeling stressed, helpless or hopeless? If so, it is time to get help.
Q: How long does Alzheimer’s disease last on average?
A: Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but how long the disease lasts is dependent upon age and other health conditions.
Q: At what stage should I consider professional care?
A: As Alzheimer’s progresses, your loved one may need more help with daily tasks. The level of medical care your loved one needs is the most important factor. When you become concerned about the safety and the need for constant supervision is great, it is time to look into professional care options.