September 21st is recognized as World Alzheimer’s Day. In the United States alone more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. It is the 6th leading cause of death among Americans, and the only one in the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed down.
What are the signs of Alzheimer’s?
Memory loss is the main sign of Alzheimer’s, but it should be intense enough to disrupt everyday life before it is something to be concerned with. You may also notice that loved ones have a tough time remembering times and places, or how to complete familiar tasks. It is also common to notice a mood and personality change that will often lead to the desire to withdrawal from social activities that were previously enjoyed.
As Alzheimer’s progresses it is common for your loved one to require full or part-time care to ensure that they are reminded to eat regularly, take medications, and are safe from danger. Unfortunately, in many of these cases nursing home abuse occurs, and many people are unable to fully report what is happening as Alzheimer’s makes it more difficult for them to process.
Signs of nursing home abuse include sudden weight loss, bruising, broken bones, depression, and excessive fear around certain people and situations. Special care should be taken when these signs show up for someone with Alzheimer’s, and action should be taken to try to monitor the situation to ensure that no abuse is occurring. Personal injury attorneys Ragain & Cook, P.C. report elder abuse in the form of financial theft and identity theft are also forms of abuse committed against the elderly with Alzheimer’s. It is unfortunately a common crime that is estimated to cost around $3 billion annually.
Using a nanny cam can be an effective way to monitor the situation if you suspect elder abuse. You will want to collect as much evidence as possible to help support your claims against a caretaker.
What can be done to prevent Alzheimer’s?
Extensive research is still required to fully understand Alzheimer’s. Nothing has been fully proven to prevent the disease, but promising research is beginning to shed some light on possible lifestyle changes that could help.
A connection between cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s has been discovered leading many experts to assume that preventing high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol can help reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s. It has been found that over 80% of Alzheimer’s cases will also have at least one of these 3 conditions present.
Experts agree that they do not fully understand the link with heart health, but monitoring your diet should be a priority in your life to prevent many diseases. Limiting unhealthy fats, selecting whole grains, eating fruits and veggies, and controlling your portion size are the best steps you can take to prevent heart issues and your chances of developing diabetes.
Another best practice is that exercise should remain a priority throughout your life. When you exercise you increase blood and oxygen flow throughout your brain which is believed to maintain healthy brain cells. Making it a priority to exercise from an early age will help you to make it part of your lifestyle that is easy to incorporate into your routine as you age. If you have loved ones that are senior citizens and are not as active as they should be, many programs are in place to help them find a routine they can stick to.
Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle will help you prevent many diseases in the future. Since no clear cut answer is available, the best thing you and your family can do is eat healthy, stay active, and continue to grow upon your social relationships.