Overview of Condition
Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is devastating. With 5 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and with this number expected to rise to 13 million by 2050, people affected by Alzheimer’s will steadily become more common. However, we are here to help.
What is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative and progressive disease that affects the human brain. The illness causes proteins build and to form structures called plaques and tangles which lead to the loss of connections between nerve cells and important chemical transmitters. Over time, parts of the brain become damaged and due to this progression, more parts of the brain are compromised and symptoms develop with higher severity. In the early stages of the illness, short-term memory begins to become compromised yet memory of life events that happened many years ago is often unaffected. As the disease becomes more severe, issues of memory loss, mood swings, and other behavior changes become more prominent. Regardless of stage, it is critical for the caregiver to maintain their relationship, ease the transition, and ensure a safe and loving environment.
Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's Disease
Caring for someone with AD and related dementias can be challenging and can severely impact the health and well-being of the caregiver. Your relationship with your loved one will change, and there can be more stress as you take on the role and responsibility of caregiving. There is also the normal discomfort in this role change, and you having to rely on skills you never knew you had when taking on such a challenging task. To provide effective support to your loved one, you must look after your own health and emotional well-being.