Alzheimer’s is the most feared brain disease. Everybody knows this disease takes away your memories one by one until you cannot even recognize those closest to you. Unfortunately, that’s where the general knowledge about this disease stops.
The media and the internet are filled with stories about Alzheimer’s. We often see characters suffering from Alzheimer’s portrayed on the TV, and most of the time that portrayal is greatly exaggerated. Amidst all these portrayals and stories there’s a lot of false truths.
There are several notorious myths those unfamiliar with the disease perpetuate about who can contract Alzheimer’s, how it affects them and what the outcome will be. These myths often stand in the way of helping loved ones struggling with it and understanding what they are going through.
In this article, we are going to be taking a look at 7 most common Alzheimer’s myths and debunk them once and for all.
Senior Loved One Who Remembers Everything Doesn’t Have Alzheimer’s
The first memories the Alzheimer’s takes away are the most recent ones. The disease does not affect long-term memory immediately, even if it’s the type of memory most commonly associated with it. In fact, these memories become affected in the middle stages of the disease. That is why a person recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s still remembers events that transpired a while ago.
Furthermore, the Alzheimer’s effect on memories is worse on some days than it is to the others. For example, a senior might seem better and able to remember everything one day and have their memory deteriorate again the very next one.
Most patients retain the basic social skills in the early stages, meaning they are aware of the disease and are going to cover up the symptoms to prevent an embarrassing situation.
You’ll Get Alzheimer’s If You Live Long Enough
Alzheimer’s and similar cognitive diseases aren’t a normal part of the aging process, contrary to popular belief. True, some people may have trouble remembering things at a certain point in life. But Alzheimer’s doesn’t only affect memories, but basic cognitive functions like judgment and behavior as well.
Alzheimer’s Only Affects Seniors
It’s true that the majority of those affected with Alzheimer’s are over 65 years old and half of them are over 80. In fact, the percent of the people affected doubles for every five years after 65. However, an early onset of the Alzheimer’s can occur as early as the 30s, but most commonly in the 50s. Fortunately, this early-onset form of the disease represents between 5 to 10 percent of the Alzheimer’s patients.
People with Alzheimer’s Aren’t Aware of Their Symptoms
At the early stages of the disease, patients are usually aware that there’s something wrong with their cognitive functions, although they might not suspect Alzheimer’s at first. People are aware of the memory lapses and aware of having difficulties performing mundane tasks, like preparing a particular dish. How aware depends on the individual and can be prone to change. Furthermore, as the disease progresses the patient’s awareness of their symptoms declines.
Depending on how aware they are of the issues, some patients may appreciate a heads-up when they make a mistake. On the other hand, some patients are more self-aware and can be easily frustrated at your remarks regarding their behavior, making communication more difficult.
If My Parents Had Alzheimer’s I’ll Get It As Well
If you have a family member affected by Alzheimer’s it does not necessarily mean you’ll have it too. While having a family member affected does increase your chances of contracting it yourself, it does so only by a minor percent.
Some forms of the disease, like the aforementioned early-onset Alzheimer’s, are known to be more likely to run in the family. However, the more common forms do not display the same heritable pattern.
Alzheimer’s Will Make My Parents Aggressive
Many people fear the misconception that Alzheimer’s patients will become aggressive at some stage of the disease. However, it is less common than you are led to believe. Aggression is not one of the symptoms, but rather a reaction to them.
An Alzheimer’s patient might become frustrated if exposed to an unfamiliar environment or in an embarrassing situation. However, their reaction might not necessarily be a violent outburst. Alzheimer’s affects each patient differently. Some people actually become timider and become introverts. There are several ways to keep their behavior in check. Turning to an expert in home care in Brentwood can vastly improve their quality of life. The skilled caregivers are trained to handle common behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s, including both aggression and violence.
The Symptoms are Reversible
While doctors can keep the symptoms in check and slow the advancement of the disease down, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, which sadly means that there is no way to cure or reverse the symptoms. A person can function for many years in the early stages or may experience a rapid decline.
However, experts can do a lot to manage the symptoms. They can also make the later stages of the disease more bearable for the patient. This is especially true if the doctors diagnose the disease at the early stages. Some of the ways to help patients struggling with the symptoms are through medication, cognitive therapy and environmental cues as well as other unorthodox methods like aromatherapy.
Home Care in Brentwood for Alzheimer’s Patients
If you considered hiring a professional to help your senior loved one battle this dreaded disease, contact A Better Way in Home Care. We are the leading home care in Brentwood, serving all of Los Angeles. To learn more about our caregiver referral system and what we can do to help you contact us at 323.650.2211 or through our website form.