November is known as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. It has been recognized since 1983 when there were less than two million people with the disease. Today, that number has grown to over five million.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia. It leads to problems with memory, thinking and behavior problems. Alzheimer’s accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all cases making it the most common for of dementia as well as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
The progression of Alzheimer’s disease gets worse over time eventually getting to a point where a person can no longer accomplish daily tasks. Mild memory problems turn into becoming unaware of surroundings and can turn into the inability to carry on conversations.
Those ages 65 and older are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease; however, there are thousands of others under the age of 65 who have early-onset Alzheimer’s.
While there are no drugs or treatments to cure Alzheimer’s, there are treatments that can help to slow down its progression. Some symptoms of Alzheimer’s include: memory loss, confusion with time or forgetting where they are, misplacing things or being unable to retrace steps, trouble problem solving and mood or personality changes.
Although there is not currently a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are things you can do to help your loved one if the disease is still in the early stages. Keeping a daily routine, not overstimulating, being reassuring and not yelling or arguing are some ways to help.
Not only in November, but all throughout the year, being aware of signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and joining the fight are things we can all do in order to help fight against Alzheimer’s.