If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, you’re probably pretty familiar with the mental challenges posed by the disease. It can make even the simplest and most frequent tasks difficult and cause the sufferer to lose their ability to even recognize faces of their loved ones. But in addition to the observable and commonly known facts about this progressive disease, there are some things you may not know.
1. Chronic Sleep Deprivation Could Contribute
A study found that a buildup of the protein ?-amyloid may attack brain cells and trigger Alzheimer’s. This protein is common in those who don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. So prioritizing sleep may be even more important than we already knew!
2. Music Can Help
Music has been shown to boost brain activity, and has been shown to be an effective therapy for Alzheimer’s patients. Music has been shown to connect us to our emotions well, which can lead to unlocking memories and improved cognitive ability over time. A study in 2013 found that musical aptitude and musical appreciation are two of the longest lasting abilities for Alzheimer’s sufferers.
3. Alzheimer’s Is a Leading Cause of Death
In fact, it comes in sixth behind heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, accidents and stroke. The CDC reported over 93,500 deaths from Alzheimer’s in 2014 alone. And according to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in every 3 seniors will die with this disease or another form of dementia.
4. Women Are Far More Susceptible than Men
In fact, about two of every three Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S. are female. This may be due to the fact that women tend to live longer than men and your risks of developing this or another form of dementia grow exponentially with age.
5. Alcoholics Are at High Risk
Alcohol-related brain damage (or ARBD) is a disorder caused by overconsumption of alcohol over a long period of time. This excessive consumption can lead to many forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s.
6. Over 16 Million Americans Are Caregivers for Alzheimer’s Patients
These unpaid caregivers account for 83 percent of the help given to older adults. They provide 18.4 billion hours of care, for a value of more than $230 billion. This can take a huge toll on caregivers. If you’re caring for someone in the grip of dementia, know that you are not alone. There are resources and support available to help.
Additionally, getting an Alzheimer’s patient to a normal doctor’s office or clinic in the case of an urgent medical need can be hugely challenging. Instead, why not call in expert help from the clinical team at DispatchHealth? They’ll meet you at your home, provide any of the services you could get from your local urgent care center, and help your loved one feel more comfortable in familiar surroundings.