Watching a loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s is one of the most painful experiences a person can have. As the warning signs and symptoms become more noticeable, daily tasks become more difficult and assistance is required. While much about Alzheimer’s disease is unknown, there are an alarming number of misconceptions about the disease that can confuse patient’s loved ones. To provide clarity, here are some of the most common misconceptions about Alzheimer’s for you to watch out for.
- Only Seniors Are Affected- The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s increases as we get older, but the disease does not only affect senior citizens. Roughly 5% of people with Alzheimer’s develop the disease when they are younger, usually in their 30’s or 40’s. This is called early onset Alzheimer’s and can be just as detrimental as the disease is in seniors.
- Alzheimer’s Is Just Memory Loss- Memory loss is a natural part of the aging process, but Alzheimer’s is much more than just memory loss. Alzheimer’s makes basic tasks, such as eating or getting dressed, more difficult and eventually impossible to do without assistance. Occasional forgetfulness is a natural part of aging, forgetting basic tasks, like reading and writing, is not.
- It Isn’t Deadly- As the disease progresses, motor function and the ability to perform common day-to-day tasks are lost. Patient’s often forget to eat or drink, resulting in a lack of nutrients. Breathing ability can also be impaired, which can lead to pneumonia. Unfortunately, despite medical advancements, Alzheimer’s is the sixth most leading cause of death in the United States with most patients living between three and nine years after their diagnoses.
- It’s a Natural Part of the Aging Process- Many people believe that developing Alzheimer’s is part of the natural aging process, but this is false. In fact, only 6% of people over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s. Your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease might increase as you get older, but Alzheimer’s symptoms are not part of the natural aging process.
- Alzheimer’s is Preventable and Curable- There are many supplements and medications on the market today that claim they can prevent or even cure Alzheimer’s disease. As much as we wish this were true, it isn’t. There is not a scientific consensus on what causes Alzheimer’s, let alone how to prevent or cure the disease. Many researchers have dedicated their lives to finding a cure for the disease, and eventually, we will.
If your loved one in the Seattle, WA region has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or some other degenerative disorder, you can discuss your options with us by contacting us here or by calling us at 855.444.7364.