Every year, June is dedicated to Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, a special time to inform people about the malicious thief known as Alzheimer's disease. The progressive neurological disorder affects millions worldwide, and closer to home the Florida Department of Health says it was the ninth leading cause of death in Leon County in 2021. This month, Capital Health Plan is shining a light on the disease that affects 580,000 people aged 65 and older in Florida each day.
Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that can impact memory, eventually affecting how well people speak, think, and conduct daily activities. The brain disorder gets worse over time, but how quickly that happens can vary. Individuals affected by the disease might not notice memory problems at first, but later may have trouble finding the right words or making decisions. They can also get confused about what time or day it is. Sometimes, these changes can lead to anger, anxiety, or depression. If that happens, there are different ways to manage those feelings with lifestyle changes.
Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed by doctors through several tests to make sure the symptoms you or a family member are experiencing are actual signs of the disease and not another condition. Diagnosing Alzheimer’s may include memory tests that show how well a person can perform daily tasks, as well as blood tests or an exam to look at the brain.
There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are medicines that may slow the symptoms for a while and make the condition easier to live with. Those affected by the disease can diligently maintain an appointment calendar, schedule activities for their own best times of the day, and exercise. Meanwhile, families of Alzheimer’s patients will have to keep in mind that the disease will bring good and bad days and could produce a wide array of emotions, both for the patient and for them. Working with a health care professional can help create a safe and comfortable environment and make tasks of daily living easier.
Alzheimer's disease remains an ongoing challenge, with far-reaching consequences for individuals, families, and society. While progress has been made at unraveling the complexities of Alzheimer's, there is still much work to be done. Continued research, public awareness, and support for individuals and families affected by this devastating disease are crucial in pursuing a future where the brain disorder is curable. Working together, medical science and the public can strive toward a world in which memories are preserved, cognitive abilities are maintained, and the burden of Alzheimer's disease is lifted.
To learn more about this disease and other conditions, go to: https://www.healthwise.net/capitalhealth/Content/
Sourced By: Healthwise
Reviewed By: Capital Health Plan Physicians Group