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  • Erin Skelton

Signs of Alzheimer’s and How Assisted Living for Alzheimer’s Can Help

Are you or your loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or Mild Cognitive Impairment? Do you find your mother or father are getting forgetful, confused, or struggling to remember or use the right words? Mild Cognitive Impairment is most commonly due to Alzheimer’s Disease. Just like many illnesses, the sooner you can implement early intervention, the better off your loved one will be able to manage it. At Brookhaven Assisted Living, we provide assisted living for Alzheimer’s residents and take great pride in the steps and activities that we implement to help slow the progression rate of Alzheimer’s. Let’s first discuss the symptoms and signs of MCI due to Alzheimer’s.

Symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Some seniors will experience symptoms of MCI slowly and subtly, while others will experience it suddenly and intensely. If your loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, speak with a doctor as soon as possible.

  • Lapse in Memory - Your loved one forgets important events like social interactions or appointments.

  • Poor judgement leading to bad decisions - your loved one makes impulsive decisions that end up affecting them poorly

  • Loss of sense of initiative - struggling to take action or initiate interactions with friends and loved ones

  • Taking longer to complete normal daily tasks

  • Asking repetitive questions - your loved one loses their train of thought or zones out of conversations

  • Getting lost or wandering - having trouble finding your way around familiar environments

  • Struggling to handle money and pay bills

  • Misplacing items in strange places

  • Mood and personality changes

  • Increased anxiety and/or aggression or agitation (a most common reason why loved ones seek assisted living for Alzheimer’s patients)

Stages of Alzheimer’s

According to the Alzheimer's Association, most people who age do not get Alzheimer’s, however, it does occur in about 1 in 9 people who are 65 years and older. Once a senior reaches the age of 70 or older, Alzheimer’s doubles the risk of premature death. Alzheimer’s is a slowly progressing, irreversible neurodegenerative brain disease. It can have a long preclinical phase of up to 20 years, though the average clinical duration is 8 to 10 years. Biomarkers for the disease change the brain as Alzheimer’s progresses. There are several stages of Alzheimer’s disease including the following:

  • Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Mild Cognitive Impairment due to Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia (varying from mild to severe)

Emotional Disease of Alzheimer’s

No matter your age, when you forget something or struggling to find the right words during a conversation, it can be frustrating. However, for seniors with Alzheimer’s, is it emotionally distressing to them to realize that they cannot readily recall information that they used to be able to recall easily. That emotional distress then often carries over to their loved ones as they see their mother or father distressed. This is where assisted living for Alzheimer’s residents can provide help.

Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease

Unfortunately, there are no approved drug treatments for the condition. However, non-drug treatments for the disease focus on regular exercise, healthy diet, and brain activities that increase one’s cognitive activity. This can include art therapy, activity-based therapy (such as gardening or pickleball), and memory training (such as crossword puzzles or word jumbles).

Genetic Risk Factors of Alzheimer’s

Physicians first identified Alzheimer’s more than 100 years ago, but it was not until the 1980’s that it was recognized as the most common cause of dementia. Early detection of Alzheimer’s can slow the progression rate. Since studying Alzheimer’s, researchers have also identified many possible genetic risk factors for the disease. However, it should be noted that none are conclusive. Some factors that may or may not increase a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s include family history genetics, obesity, smoking, hypertension, and diabetes. Scientists are still studying additional causes of Alzheimer's disease such as education, diet, environment, and viruses to determine if any of these factors play a role in the development of the disease. Assisted living for Alzheimer’s can provide environments to help slow this progression.

How Brookhaven Assisted Living Can Help Your Loved One with MCI or Alzheimer’s

Our certified caregivers and licensed manager have extensive knowledge in caring for the elderly who suffer from dementia, MCI, and Alzheimer’s. Our visiting doctor comes to Brookhaven about once a week to check on residents, treat them as needed, and make adjustments as needed. Our on-site activities include physical exercise such as walking, exercising with a foot peddler, and senior yoga. We also have a visiting paint teacher from Therapeutic Art Color Yourself Purple who comes twice a month to stimulate the brain through learning new techniques in painting. She also provides great emotional and social support to our residents, as she lifts their spirits through friendly chats. Musical entertainment will be happening on July 23, 2021 at 2:00pm at Brookhaven Assisted Living and all are invited to attend this open house. Come join in the fun as residents will be able to hold simple instruments and hear the beautiful music and singing. The owner of Brookhaven Assisted Living will also be in attendance and prospective residents are welcome to introduce themselves to him and discuss their needs and expectations with assisted living.

If you or your loved one could benefit from assisted living for Alzheimer’s and all that it has to offer, please contact us today to schedule a tour and a free consultation.

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