In the US, every 65 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s disease. Currently there are 4.5 million people living with this disease. At the rate that it’s spreading almost 14 million people will have Alzheimer’s by the year 2050.
That’s a sobering thought.
Alzheimer’s primarily affects people aged 65 and over. Thus, as you or your loved one ages it doesn’t hurt to be on the lookout for the disease.
With advances in medicine and understanding of the disease, doctors have developed an Alzheimer’s test that you can take. It’s possible to detect Alzheimer’s in the early stages of the disease.
But you can only find out if you have it by taking the test.
Benefits of an Alzheimer’s Test
There are several benefits to taking an Alzheimer’s test and determining if you or a loved one may be developing the disease.
Let’s look at them here.
1. Ease Anxiety
As strange as this might sound, many people feel relief when they get their Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The reason for this is that the symptoms can be scary and frustrating. But once you have a diagnosis, you understand what’s going on and can now take steps to better the quality of your life.
The same is true for family members. It can be confusing and frustrating to see a loved one acting in ways that are strange for them. But understanding there’s a medical reason can help them take it in stride and know how to help.
In other words, knowing what’s wrong can be an empowering feeling.
2. Time To Plan
Another benefit to early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is that it gives you time to plan. The earlier you know about the disease the more time you have to make your own arrangements.
How would you like to be taken care of? Would you prefer to stay at home? You may need help but there are in-home health care options.
Or would you prefer the security of living in a memory care facility? When you know about your disease early you can pick out the facility rather than having one chosen for you when you can no longer make those decisions.
You can also make known your own preferences for legal, financial, and even end of life decisions.
Early diagnosis also gives your family time to prepare both financially and emotionally to care for you in the best way possible.
3. Early Access To Treatment
Unfortunately, there is no known treatment that can reverse or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s. However, there are treatments that can ease the symptoms and help you maintain a better quality of life for longer.
The earlier that you have access to these treatments, the more effective they will be.
Another possible option is participating in clinical trials. The more the doctors can understand about the disease, the more they can help people in the future. Plus, you may have the chance to take an experimental treatment that would actually help slow or reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s.
There are also other lifestyle changes you can make that can help preserve cognitive function for longer. For example, if you smoke or have high blood pressure these can reduce your brain’s ability to function. Getting those under control can help you enjoy a better quality of life or longer.
Other activities have been proven to better cognitive function and at least ease the harshness of the symptoms. These include exercise, social and mental stimulation activities.
4. Financial Savings
Knowing about Alzheimer’s early can also help you save money. This is because of financial opportunities you can take advantage of and the extra time that you have to research them.
The warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease are not always easy to pick up on. Many of them can masquerade as normal problems often associated with elderly folks. Yet, these signs can help you determine if you should take an Alzheimer’s test.
Here are some of the common signs.
Most elderly folks forget their glasses on their head at one point or another. That’s not what we’re talking about here.
Memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s is more severe and disruptive to daily life activities. They may constantly forget where they left things and have a hard time retracing their steps.
Again, it’s not uncommon for elderly folks to be confused. However, if you or your loved one regularly confuses times and places or even people this can be an indication of Alzheimer’s.
Mood swings and changes in personality can also be indications. Lashing out in anger is common and often unusual for the person.
They may also become more withdrawn, spend more time alone, and avoid social activities.
Cognitive issues may appear, like having difficulty planning events or activities. Simple mental challenges, like understanding visual images, also may become difficult. Judgement and reasoning can also be affected.
Simple, daily activities may become challenging. You may also notice that the person has trouble with words or concepts. Everybody forgets a word once in a while, but if it becomes a habit or frustrates the person that’s a warning sign.
If you take an Alzheimer’s test and receive a diagnosis for the disease it’s time to think about the future. You want to live in a comfortable environment where you can feel secure and well taken care of.
Check out our memory care facilities today. We ensure that there are plenty of mental and social activities for you to take part in that will help you hold on to your cognitive functioning as long as possible. And our exceptional staff will take good care of you as needed.
Feel free to contact us today to learn more.