Most people have heard of Alzheimer’s disease. They know that it is an illness that occurs in the elderly, and affects the memory. The way it is discussed in casual conversation almost makes it seem like it is a condition that simply comes with age: you get old, then you get Alzheimer’s. It is just a part of life.
For most people, though, this is absolutely not true. Alzheimer’s is not a part of the natural aging process at all, and it is not simply a memory problem. Alzheimer’s is a progressive form of dementia that steadily gets worse over time. It not only affects the memory, but also one’s thinking processes and behavior. In addition to having difficulty remembering things, an Alzheimer’s sufferer may also have trouble finding the words when they speak, or understanding what other people are saying to them. They may become moody and aggressive, and their personality may completely shift as a result of the changes in their brain.
But what exactly happens in the brain to cause Alzheimer’s?
Researchers have not yet been able to exactly pinpoint the place in the brain where Alzheimer’s begins. What they do know, though, is that it causes a disruption in the ordinary functioning of the brain. The Alzheimer’s Association from Alz.org liken the brain to a factory: There are billions of nerve cells in the brain, all acting as workers doing different jobs. These jobs include thinking, learning, and remembering things that have been taken in, and in a normal brain, these jobs are done quite well. Just like in a real factory, supplies (information) is received, energy is generated, machinery is built, and waste is disposed of. The nerve cells all communicate with each other to get these things done, and done well.
In a brain with Alzheimer’s, though, something goes wrong in the factory. There are backups and delays, and problems in one area lead to problems in another. Eventually, brain cells begin to die, and the factory loses important workers.
Unfortunately, although there has been a lot of research done on Alzheimer’s disease, there is no cure as of yet. Scientists and researchers are constantly working on this, though, so they are hopeful that someday there will be a way to stop this disease.
Alzheimer’s progressively gets worse over time, and though there is no cure, as mentioned above, there are medications and lifestyle changes that may help to make symptoms easier to deal with. They cannot stop the progression of the disease, but they may be able to help with things like moodiness and dementia symptoms. This, while not a true fix, can make life a lot more comfortable and manageable for both the Alzheimer’s sufferer and their family caregiver or loved ones.
If your parent or loved one is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s, homecare could be a big help. A homecare aide can assist your loved one with their daily tasks, and help them to remember to do things like bathe, brush their hair, and take their medicines. Again, this is no cure, but it can certainly make things better for everyone involved!
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Perinton NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.
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