September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and as one of the leading national healthcare staffing companies, Advanced Home Care Solutions is proud to be part of a campaign that raises awareness and challenges the stigma that persists around Alzheimer’s disease and all types of dementia.
One of the biggest misconceptions about this deadly illness is that Alzheimer’s and related dementia are part of “normal” aging. They are not. Studies show that up to 40% of dementia cases might be prevented or delayed – when it comes to brain health, it’s important to recognize the difference between what’s normal and what isn’t. While mild forgetfulness can be a sign of aging, serious memory problems are not. Difficulty driving, using the phone, and finding the way home are indications of dementia-related illness. Other signs include asking the same question over and over, having trouble following directions, becoming confused about time, people and places, and not taking care of oneself when it comes to safety, nutrition or hygiene. People with dementia may also have problems with language skills, visual perception, or paying attention.
Some of the differences between normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Making a bad decision occasionally – Normal aging
- Exhibiting poor judgement and decisions frequently – Alzheimer’s
- Missing a monthly payment – Normal aging
- Problems managing monthly bills – Alzheimer’s
- Sometimes forgetting which word to use – Normal aging
- Trouble engaging in a conversation – Alzheimer’s
This is where health care professionals can make a difference by diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. A doctor will perform tests and assessments, possibly order a brain scan, or refer to a neurologist who specializes in treating diseases of the brain and nervous system.
For situations where normal aging is presenting a few symptoms, some ways of navigating these issues can include good nutrition, physical activity, mental stimulation, and social engagement. Some of the risk factors that can be related to Alzheimer’s disease include Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, midlife obesity, smoking, depression, little or no mental activity and little or no physical exercise. At the end of the day, we are seeing major inroads into maintaining brain health. Advanced Home Care Solutions is promoting this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month theme, which is ‘Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s’. Our company’s healthcare staffing model is based on recognizing and dealing with the unique challenges that face an aging population. Our healthcare teams – including our Care Aides, travel nurses, and LPNs – are committed to the highest level of care, professionalism and ethics. They are also familiar with the newest advances in the field of brain health and can provide support in all related areas. Part of the AHCS mandate is to transform the experience of aging, and the stigma around dementia and memory loss, by empowering older adults through our healthcare teams with growth and possibility. By addressing the fear, anxiety and grief involved with memory loss and aging, the isolation and stigma many people experience can be removed.