When should you be concerned about Alzheimer’s?

Did you know that one of the top ten killers in the United States is Alzheimer’s? According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, there are over five million people living with the disease, and this statistic will just continue to grow in people over the age of 65.

How are you supposed to know what is normal aging and what may be a sign of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementias? Many people find it very difficult to ascertain when they should be concerned or not. Here are some helpful tips for you to consider.

Someone with age-related dementia changes will:

  • Forget parts of memories.
  • Remember pieces later on.
  • Follow written and spoken directions.
  • Rely on notes as reminders.
  • Continue to take care of themselves.

So, what is the difference between having dementia and having Alzheimer’s?

In general terms, dementia is the decline of skills and loss of brain function. Those who have it will often experience personality change and behavioral problems like anxiety, delusions, and agitation. They may even experience hallucinations in severe cases.

Many times someone with dementia cannot work and will be unable to maintain social relationships. Although it is not always the case, there have been studies that show treatable illness such as thyroid problems and drug interaction can cause dementia.

Someone with dementia will:

  • Have loss of memory.
  • Have loss of judgment.
  • Have loss of reasoning.
  • Have mental confusion.
  • Have a hard time speaking and moving.
  • Have mood changes.
  • Not be able to perform routine tasks.

Someone with Alzheimer’s will:

  • Forget entire experiences and memories.
  • Not remember later.
  • Gradually not be able to follow spoken or written directions.
  • Gradually stop being able to care for themselves.

What is Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s is a chronic movement disorder that involves a malfunction of the vital cells in your brain; essentially, the neurons in your brain are dying. This disorder affects a large portion of your brain called the Substantia Nigra. When these neurons die, they lose the ability produce a chemical called dopamine, affecting movement and control throughout your body. With time, your body receives less and less dopamine-making people unable to control their movement normally.

Like many other disorders, the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s get worse with time. Although no one knows the exact cause of Parkinson’s, more than one million American’s are living with it. With no cure, it can be a difficult diagnosis, but there are some forms of treatment that lessen the severity of the disorder.

Someone with Parkinson’s will:

  • Experience tremors in their hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face.
  • Noticeably move slower (bradykinesia).
  • Have stiff or rigid in their limbs and trunk.
  • Show signs of impaired balance and coordination.

Do not let this list scare you though. At Best In-Home Care, we understand that when you or a loved one are diagnosed with such symptoms as these above, you may be filled with a variety of emotions.

Our in-home health care services can help you and your loved one cope and receive the assistance necessary to continue to live a full, joyous life. With our 24/7 full-time care, you can have the peace of mind that you need to know your loved one is safe and comfortable in their own home. Call us for the help you deserve today.