Community Blog

Understanding Alzheimer Disease

By Owner

As your loved ones age, they can have increasing difficulty with memory, behavior and thinking skills. The doctor may diagnose the problem as Alzheimer Disease, a type of dementia. While the exact cause of the disease is not yet known, studies show that changes in the brain can lead to Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is not part of the normal aging process, although older people have a higher risk. Genetics can also play a part in developing the disease. Alzheimer Disease worsens with time, so it is important to plan ahead. A compassionate caregiver from an in-home healthcare agency can have the training needed to handle an Alzheimer patient.

What are the Risks?

According to the NIH, National Library of Medicine, Alzheimer Disease typically occurs in individuals ages 60 and over. People with high cholesterol that causes blood vessel and heart problems and those with a history of head trauma have increased risk of developing the disease. Individuals who have a close relative such as a parent or sibling with Alzheimer’s have a greater risk of developing symptoms. Alzheimer’s is more common in females than in males.

Types of Alzheimer Disease

The two types of Alzheimer Disease are Early Onset and Late Onset. Early Onset Alzheimer’s, which occurs before the age of 60, is not as common as Late Onset. It often runs in families, and several genes that contribute to the disease have been discovered. Early Onset Alzheimer Disease typically worsens quickly.

Late Onset Alzheimer Disease, by far the more common form of the disease, generally occurs in individuals who are age 60 and above. While it can run in families, the genetic connection is not as strong as in Early Onset Alzheimer’s.

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s

While a true diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease occurs only after death, doctors use a physical examination that includes a nervous system evaluation to show the likelihood of the disease. People with Alzheimer Disease have a shrunken brain size. An examination of the brain will show tangles with dying neurons and plaque. The doctor will take the individual’s medical history into consideration, and ask about symptoms. A mental status examination will determine mental function.

Doctors may order tests that can eliminate other causes of dementia, such as anemia, a chronic infection or a brain tumor. Other causes of dementia may be a vitamin deficiency, thyroid disease, stroke or hydrocephalus, increased fluid on the brain. Symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s can also be caused by severe depression or intoxication from medication.

Home Helpers of South Shore

Home Helpers of South Shore is an in-home healthcare agency owned and operated by a compassionate health professional with a strong understanding of the needs of aging seniors. Their caregivers take a personal, hands-on approach to caregiving that provides the best possible home care, and Alzheimer Disease specialists are on staff. Contact Home Helpers to develop an individualized care plan to benefit your aging loved one.

Please fill out the form on the left and we will get in touch with you about setting up in-home health care, or call us at 781-585-1244 to determine the plan that is right for you.

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Abington , Braintree , Brockton , Buzzards Bay , Carver , Cohasset, Dighton , Duxbury , Falmouth , Halifax , Hanson , Hingham , Holbrook , Hull , Humarock , Kingston , Lakeville , Marshfield , Mashpee , Middleboro , Norwell , Pembroke , Plymouth , Plympton , Quincy , Randolph , Rockland , Sandwich , Scituate , Taunton , Wareham , Weymouth , Whitman