Putting a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision regardless of the circumstances. In the case of Alzheimer’s, most research shows that at some point in the progression of the disease a nursing home becomes the right decision for the family in Flanders. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, there are nearly 2 million people currently living in some form of nursing home. Over 90% of these residents are over 65 years old and most require 24 hour supervision due to some physical limitation or dementia.
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Alzheimer’s disease is an extremely sad and difficult condition to work with. This disease is very difficult on the family members in Flanders. Just thinking that as the days slip by your aging loved one will soon become more and more distant. This can be very depressing and an emotional time for most family caregivers. Besides the common emotion of depression, most family members often feel angry, frustrated, and even at a loss for words.
Preparing for Alzheimer's Care
Alzheimer's is a progressive disease which is life threatening to the people it affects and unfortunately, this terrible disease can destroy the lives of many more people that those it directly affects. Witnessing the slow deterioration of a loved one while also doing your best to take care of them can be too much for many. Therefore, in many ways close friends, relatives and colleagues can also become victim of this insidious syndrome. Realistically, only a relative or partner who provides Alzheimer's care, really knows how difficult that can be.
Even so, most people cannot provide the necessary level of medical support a person with Alzheimer's might need, which is why many people decide to employ the services of professionals, to provide fully comprehensive care to those who need it.
If you are considering providing that care yourself, you should be prepared for many difficult situations. As time goes by, the disease will get stronger and the patient will get weaker and weaker.
The risk of self-injury also increases as the disease progresses. So, another important point to consider is whether the environment surrounding the person is a safe one. To provide Alzheimer's care, a person needs to be really confident that they can manage. Most often, the best possible option is to situate the sufferer where professionals can take good care of them and provide all the essential care that person needs.
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As our parents get older, we often start to notice that they are forgetting to do simple daily activities or even forgetting things from the past. This memory loss can lead to Alzheimer's or dementia. While memory loss is common with seniors, it is does not happen in all (or even most) cases. Most people can cite examples of elderly loved ones they know who are in their late 80s or even into their 90s and still have vivid memories going all the way back to their childhood.
The fact that some elderly people have been able to retain sharp memories while others experience memory loss has led scientists to study memory loss in further detail in hopes of discovering what physical and mental factors contribute to loss of memory and what is necessary to prevent it. So far, scientists have made some interesting findings.
When Does Memory Loss Begin?
Scientists believe that memory loss begins in most people toward the end of middle age and as they approach retirement. During this period, the brain begins to lose cells at a rate of 1% per year. 1% may not seem like much, and at first it may not be noticeable. But 1% compounded year after year becomes a noticeable loss in brain mass as people get further into their retirement years.
It should be noted that this is only an educated theory and does not apply universally. There are certainly those with lower levels of education and careers that don't require heavy use of the brain that still retain good memories into retirement. On the other hand, there are also people who were well educated and/or had mentally taxing careers that still develop Alzheimer's or dementia and will need Alzheimer's Care. Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan is a prime example of the latter group.