According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2017 is 5.5 million. An estimated 5.3 million are age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 people under the age of 65 have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia affect 35.7 million people around the world, a number that is projected to triple by 2050. These numbers are staggering and compounded by the fact that less than one in four people living with Alzheimer’s or dementia are formally diagnosed. Without a diagnosis, many do not receive the proper care, treatment or support from medical professionals, friends or family.
Alzheimer’s is a devastating condition that impairs memory, communication, reasoning and judgment; it is the most common form of dementia. Currently one in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another type dementia; the death rate increased from 68% from 2000 to 2010 and will only continue to rise. Further, spending related to Alzheimer’s and dementia research and care also continues to increase. The estimated global cost of dementia in 2010 was $604 billion, or 1% of the world GDP. Clearly, Alzheimer’s has a crippling effect on the global population, especially with no known cure.
Video courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Association
The more knowledge you have about Alzheimer’s disease, the better prepared you will likely be in the event your elderly loved one develops it. As well known as Alzheimer’s is, there are many lesser-known facts about the condition that may surprise many people. Here are a few you may find interesting.
Alzheimer’s Disease Is More Common in Women
Almost twice as many women have Alzheimer’s in comparison to men. The disease also typically progresses in women at a quicker rate. The brain changes for women differ from men, causing the brain shrinkage for females to be more severe.
Heart Disease Creates a Higher Risk for Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is a common form of vascular dementia, which can be caused by heart disease. Seniors who have high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Learning New Things Can Lower the Risk of the Disease
Seniors who receive more education have a lower risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Group activities can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, as can taking classes, learning to play musical instruments, and learning a foreign language.
Loss of Smell May Be a Warning Sign of Alzheimer’s
When seniors begin to have changes in the sense of smell, it could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. While other diseases like Parkinson’s can also trigger seniors to lose their sense of smell, Alzheimer’s is strongly linked to the loss of this sense.
Alzheimer’s Is the Sixth Leading Cause of Death in the United States
One in three seniors with Alzheimer’s disease will die because of the condition. Alzheimer’s disease is also one of the most unique causes of death because there is no cure for it, and there is also no sure way to prevent the disease from developing.
If your loved one needs help managing Alzheimer’s or another memory-related condition, turn to Home Care Assistance Prescott. Included with any care plan, we offer a revolutionary activities-based program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which is designed to slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For more information on this program and our other elderly care services, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 928-771-0105 today!