June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month! During this month we will share some educational information about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia here on our blog and on our Facebook page. This is an issue that has affected our team personally, as so many others including some of the people we serve.
While many of us are concerned with cancer and heart disease—and rightly so—often Alzheimer’s and dementia are overlooked as a cause of death. However, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are the sixth leading cause of death in the nation. In fact, one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia including Lewy-Body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). It can be uncomfortable to talk about these brain diseases because the disease progression is scary, and the prognosis is terminal. However, it’s important to break down stigmas and educate the public about Alzheimer’s.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has been shown to be a precursor to Alzheimer’s. MCI is an early stage of memory loss or loss of cognitive ability, that doesn’t keep a person from living independently and performing daily tasks.
There are two symptoms of MCI, one primarily affects memory. For instance, a person may forget a conversation or appointments, things that they normally would remember. The second symptom affects cognitive ability such as making sound decisions, judging time, or the sequence of steps needed to do a complicated task.
MCI is not forgetting where you put your car keys, or why you walked into a room. It’s a bigger problem, but not at a critical level where it interferes with daily living. However, studies are showing that people who develop MCI may be at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
It’s important to understand the signs that there could be a bigger problem with a loved one’s memory and cognitive ability. Know the 10 signs of memory loss and seek medical treatment. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s yet, there are treatments that may help decrease the progression of the disease.
If a loved one is struggling with MCI, Alzheimer’s, or other dementia there are resources to help. The Alzheimer’s Association of Central and Western Kansas has a 24-hour helpline, 800-272-3900, to answer questions and provide resources to caregivers and those living with the disease. If your loved one needs assistance in the home, All Saints Home Care can help. Contact our team to learn more about our services.