June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Go purple to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s. On June 21st, the summer solstice, people from across the world will fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through a fundraising activity of their choice. June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, giving all of us an opportunity to hold conversations about the brain, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias. 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia, and 5.8 million Americans are currently affected by Alzheimer’s disease. But we have a chance to increase awareness, combat this disease, and ultimately, accomplish our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease that kills nerve cells and tissue in the brain, affecting an individual’s ability to remember, think and plan. Ultimately, those with the disease will lose their ability to communicate, recognize family and friends, and care for themselves. By partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association during Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, you can be a leader in the fight against Alzheimer’s, a disease that devastates families across the world while costing our global community billions of dollars. In the United States alone, more than 5 million individuals are living with the disease and over 15 million are acting as caregivers.

What Is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects the brain, causing memory loss, cognitive decline, and behavioral changes. It is the most common form of dementia, accounting for approximately 60-80% of all dementia cases. The disease is thought to be caused by the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques and tau protein tangles in the brain, leading to the destruction of nerve cells and disruption of communication between them.

Alzheimer’s Disease vs. Dementia

Dementia is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of cognitive impairments, including Alzheimer’s disease. While Alzheimer’s is a specific form of dementia, other types exist, including:

  • Vascular dementia
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia

Each type of dementia presents with unique symptoms and may have different underlying causes. It is essential to receive an accurate diagnosis to determine the most appropriate treatment and care plan.

The Importance of Early Detection

Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is critical for several reasons. First, it allows individuals and their families to seek appropriate medical care, support, and resources to manage the condition effectively. Second, it enables individuals to participate in clinical trials and research studies aimed at advancing our understanding of these disorders and developing potential treatments.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Here are 10 common symptoms everyone should be aware of:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  2. Challenges in planning or problem-solving
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks.
  4. Confusion about time or place
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
  8. Decreased or poor judgment
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  10. Changes in mood and personality
  • An estimated 55 million people around the world are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and if that change doesn’t come by 2030, this number will grow to roughly 76 million.
  • A person develops Alzheimer’s disease in the United States every 65 seconds.
  • In the United States, more than 16 million people take care of family or friends with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. 6.2 million of those living with Alzheimer’s disease are over the age of 65.
  • Alzheimer’s or other dementia kills one in three seniors. This is more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

Important steps to consider:

  • Get Screened
    • The National Memory Screening Program allows you to answer a list of questions to see if you or someone you may know may potentially have Alzheimer’s Disease. Check with your provider to get a thorough evaluation.
  • Take a Memory Walk
    • The Alzheimer’s Association sponsors memory walks nationwide. These walks are a great way to raise funds and support both the care of patients and the research that goes in to fighting this disease.
  • Donate
    • Your money is a critical aspect in helping fund research that goes into curing these deadly brain diseases. Funding also helps develop new medications to help slow the effects of the disease.
  • You Can Lose Your Sense of Smell
    • People with Alzheimer’s Disease often lose their ability to smell – which is often the first early sign many people report having.
  • Drink Your Coffee
    • A team of French and German researchers have discovered that caffeine and coffee may play a role in delaying memory decline.
  • Linked to Heart Disease
    • Heart disease can play a role in heightening your Alzheimer’s risk, due to vascular dementia stemming from a narrowing of blood vessels in the brain, caused by low levels of oxygen.
  • Treatment Costs Are High
    • In 2050, it is estimated that the cost for treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease will balloon to a whopping $1 trillion dollars.

Here at Glen Oaks, we are an Independent Community, we do not offer Memory Care or nursing for Alzheimer’s, however, we are all affected by this disease in one way or another. A loved one, a friend, a co-worker and even those we’ve lost. We are all aware it could happen to any of us at any time. Early onset can come in many forms. This is why our motto, “Live Life Your Way,” is so important. Take that chance, go on that adventure, live life to the fullest every minute. That’s how we live at Glen Oaks Community. With like-minded friends we are busy, active, and enjoying life. Call us today to set up a private tour with Kim at 641-355-1203 to see the Independent Living Apartments at TimberCrest at Glen Oaks.