It is important for individuals with memory-related conditions like Alzheimer’s disease to be given the specialized care they need. By receiving proper ongoing support, they can look forward to retiring in a much more enriching environment where their quality of life can be improved. Let us make understanding Alzheimer’s easier through the following article. To learn more about our memory care program, reach out to our senior living advisors today.
Alzheimer’s Disease in Seniors
This memory-related condition robs people of their memory. Initially, patients will have a hard time remembering events that just took place, though they may still be able to recall things that have happened a long time ago. Over time, other symptoms of the condition can appear and they are as follows:
- Difficulty managing daily tasks
- Trouble focusing
- Major mood swings – sudden outbursts of anxiety, anger, and depression
- Feeling frustrated or confused, especially at night
- Getting lost frequently and feeling disoriented
- Trouble communicating
- Physical problems such as poor coordination or walking in an odd way
Patients might also forget their loved ones. They will also find it difficult to dress themselves, go to the toilet, and even eat on their own. Alzheimer’s disease makes the tissue in the brain break down over time. This can happen mostly to individuals aged 65 years and above. A patient can live with Alzheimer’s disease for just several years or up to a few decades. Usually, people live with it for approximately 9 years before succumbing to its symptoms.
Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease in Seniors
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease are usually older but not every aging person will suffer from the condition. Scientists are not certain why only some individuals will develop the disease while others will not. However, it seems that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease stem from two key types of nerve damage which are as the following:
- Neurofibrillary tangles – entanglement of nerve cells
- Build-up in the brain – beta-amyloid which are protein deposits
Researchers are not sure as to the reason behind the damage and what causes it. However, it could be due to a protein called ApoE in the blood that is used by the body to move cholesterol. There are also several kinds of ApoE that may be linked to a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Certain kinds of ApoE may cause brain damage and scientists think it does impact the plaque build-up in the brains of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Early-Onset Alzheimer’s in Seniors
Early-onset Alzheimer’s happens to individuals who are much younger than 65 years old. In most cases, they are in their 40s or 50s when they get a diagnosis. These cases are rare and only up to 5% of all Alzheimer’s patients have early-onset. It is also found that those with Down syndrome have a higher risk of developing the disease.
Late-Onset Alzheimer’s in Seniors
This is the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease and it can happen to people aged 65 years and above. The disease may or may not run in the family. To date, researchers have not been able to find a particular gene that results in late-onset Alzheimer’s.