Over 6.5 million American citizens 65 years of age or older have Alzheimer’s disease in 2022. It is predicted that 12.7 million people in the country in this age group will have this form of dementia by 2050, based on existing trends. This is almost double the current number of sufferers.
Symptoms and Progression of the Disease
Alzheimer’s patients who are 70 years old today are two times more likely to die before they turn 80 than non-sufferers. Early onset Alzheimer’s disease (before 65 years of age) occurs in less than ten percent of all cases, but sometimes in victims as young as 30 years of age. The condition can be hereditary.
This is a killer disease. Its progression is often indicated in stages, but experts vary in the number of stages they include, between three and seven. Each stage should produce more deterioration and symptoms. Once diagnosed, the person has a life expectancy of eight to ten years, although this is longer in early-onset cases (up to 25 years).
The primary symptom is memory loss. Other symptoms are not coping with daily tasks, difficulty solving problems or following directions, getting confused about time and place, communication and vision deterioration, reduced judgment, self-isolation, and mood changes.
Alzheimer’s Sufferers Who Live at Home
Many spouses and children of sufferers are reluctant to confine their loved ones to assisted care and take care of them at home. This applies to the majority of USA citizens as care homes can be too expensive (+/- $48,000 per annum) for the average household.
Unfortunately, studies indicate that these people do not receive full, appropriate medical care, have more chronic conditions and unintentional weight loss, and face more pain (70.8% versus 58.6%) than those in nursing homes. Their overall health is poorer, and they experience greater anxiety and depression.
There has been an increase in primary, palliative, and geriatric home-based medical care funded by insurance, with 12% of Alzheimer’s patients living at home benefitting. However, the majority of these sufferers do not currently receive this care. The fortunate 12% have fewer emergency room visits, fewer times and incidences of hospital care, and fewer long-term admissions. They experience less disability and depression is less pronounced.
Finding the Right Assisted Living Community
If you are considering putting a family member into assisted living, it is crucial that you find the right facility. Look for a senior community near me to find the ideal personal solution for your parent or spouse. This will enable you to visit them frequently. While this can be heartsore for you when you see the changes in your loved one, especially when they no longer recognize you, you won’t have to travel far to see that they are getting the best possible care and to continue expressing your love for them.
You can check if the organization has been accredited by the Joint Commission. Pay a visit to the facility to see how residents are cared for and if they look happy and clean. Take note of how employees talk to residents. Check the menu and quantities served. Look at the rooms and see that they have dedicated ablution facilities for each person and are not shared. If possible, opt for a one-month trial and go in weekly to see how your loved one is doing.
If you find the perfect facility, it will relieve you of the caregiver tasks and give you back time for yourself. Knowing that your loved one is properly cared for will ease your mind.