Haims: Educate yourself about Alzheimer’s
If you are interested in doing your part to find a cure, please come join Visiting Angels for The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 25 as we help raise funds for research and education. Start a team, join a team, raise funds, volunteer, or just come walk and support the cause.
For people who have had, or currently have, a loved one afflicted with the disease, asking what can be done to make things better is not clear-cut.
Alzheimer’s and related forms of dementia and memory loss cannot be reversed — it is a nefarious disease. However, there are things that can be done to assist in delaying the onset, understanding the stages, and helping the prevention with education.
One of the best ways you can fend off the onset of Alzheimer’s is to feed your brain and body with foods that reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Research has shown that avoiding diets high in trans-fat, saturated fat, and sugar help mitigate the disease. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants like vitamins C, E, in addition to incorporating fruits and vegetables, fish rich in omega-3 oils, and vegetarian protein substitutes (such as soy) are proving to be protective against memory loss.
Education about the disease may be one of the best things you can do to help prevent, manage, and find a cure. If you are interested in learning more about what can be done to help slow cognitive decline, go online and search the Alzheimer’s Association website for an article titled: “2021 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures.” The article contains some great information about the disease, its common causes, development, and research to find a remedy.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that often develops long before any symptoms are noticed. Fortunately, advancements in new imaging technologies and research in understanding how the communication networks of the brain work, medical professionals now have greater insight about the biomarkers and proteins that indicate an increased risk of development.
Frequently, medical professionals describe Alzheimer’s in different stages: mild, moderate, and severe. While each person may experience the symptoms differently, in general, people within the mild stage of Alzheimer’s may experience difficulty with misplacing and losing items, remembering names/people, and executive functions such as impulse control, planning, reasoning, and problem solving and completing tasks.
Moderate stage Alzheimer’s is often associated with clearer visual indicators such as challenges with coordination, decreased judgment, changes in personality, and difficulty when expressing thoughts. Often, this is when people become more confused and feel more uncomfortable in changing environments. Consistency, calm, and familiar settings are key.
Severe stage Alzheimer’s is often associated with a loss of ability to coherently communicate, agitation, a greater impact on physical capabilities, and personality changes. It is often within this stage that people lose their ability to respond to their environment, have difficulty chewing/swallowing, and become more susceptible to illness.
Recent Alzheimer’s research is providing insight that may be quite beneficial to those interested in the possibility of abating Alzheimer’s. Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have made some recent breakthroughs in understanding correlations between Alzheimer’s Disease and how the brain’s natural defense mechanisms may be inadvertently destroying connections between nerve cells with the excess development of free radicals, amyloid plaques, and ultimately, neurofibroid tangles.
If you or someone you know is affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it’s time to learn the facts. It’s important to learn how to recognize the symptoms of the disease so you can adjust to changes and develop a plan. Go online and learn about Alzheimer’s and other causes of dementia.
In addition to education provided from organizations like The Alzheimer’s Association, the National Institute on Aging, and the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, articles from journals like Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy provide great information.
While no drug has been shown to be completely effective in the protection from Alzheimer’s, there is research indicating that preventive measures can help and medication(s) are making headway.
One in nine people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s dementia. When will you turn 65? Wouldn’t it be good to know that a cure is in the works? Come be a part of the effort to find a cure and Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 25 at the Brush Creek Pavilion in Eagle. You can find more details on the Alzheimer’s Association website.
Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Eagle County. He can be contacted at VisitingAngels.com/comtns or by calling 970-328-5526.