By 2020, it is estimated that nearly 60,000 Arkansans will be living with the most common form of dementia – Alzheimer’s disease. An irreversible, progressive brain disease, Alzheimer’s slowly deteriorates mental function and memory, creating a range of difficulties for those with the disease and their families.
Though there is no way to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s, the disease may be easier to handle if it’s onset is detected early. Learn more about the symptoms and treatment of the disease below.
Signs of Alzheimer’s
- Memory loss
- Decreased problem-solving skills
- Inability or difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Vision problems
- Difficulty speaking or writing
- Misplacing items often
- Poor judgment
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Mood swings or personality changes
Treatment and Care
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are ways to make both patients living with the disease and their families more comfortable, particularly if it’s detected early. Through an early diagnosis, Alzheimer’s patients can set themselves up for a higher quality of life and lessen the stress that comes with the disease by creating a complete care plan, and deciding who will take over financial and legal matters when the patient can no longer handle them.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, exercising and socializing may also help alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Medications can be taken in all stages of the disease to bolster mental function, fight anxiety and improve sleep as well.
Alzheimer’s is a frightening diagnosis for patients and their families, but through the support of physicians, specialists, nurses and other caregivers, living with the disease can be made more comfortable and manageable. Baptist Health offers a range of resources to help those with Alzheimer’s, from information about the disease to support groups to a 32-bed, 30,000 square foot Alzheimer’s center. Check with your physician if you have questions about Alzheimer’s. If you are in need of a physician, we can help! Click here to find a Baptist Health physician today.