Six myths about memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease

Saying “I don’t know where my keys are” doesn’t always mean that you suffer from dementia. Many people worry about memory loss and believe that this is the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease. We assure you that not all people with memory problems suffer from some form of dementia. In this week’s article, we will try to clarify the conditions in which we can forget about dementia and try to debunk several myths about Alzheimer’s, which are widely accepted for true facts in society.

Myth #1. If I have a memory problem, I have Alzheimer’s

In our conscious life, we have all forgotten someone’s name or dropped an object (How many glasses have you broken so far?). But as we age, we tend to associate these “gaps” or a few black spots with something more serious such as dementia or, more specifically, Alzheimer’s disease.

Many events, emotions, a set of experiences at some stage in life can lead to a “leak” of memory, but the end is never fatal if this hypothesis is not confirmed. One of the most common reasons you don’t remember where you parked your car last night (for example) is simply overloading. Attempt to process too much information at once. The answer usually comes as soon as you stop thinking about it and don’t force yourself to remember.

Medications, stress, vitamin deficiencies, or thyroid problems are other common causes of memory problems, but they do not affect memory at all in the long run, meaning memory loss can be temporary and controllable. Although memory loss can be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s, the disease is much more complex. As it progresses, speech, reasoning, visual perceptions, and coordination affect and have serious impact on a person’s daily life.

Myth #2. Alzheimer’s is not so common

This is true to some extent. For example, one in 10 Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease. By 2019, however, there are more than 5 million people, and the figure is approximately 50 million people for the whole world.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in three Americans over the age of 85 suffers from the disease. With age, the incidence rate increases, making age the number one risk factor.

Myth #3. Alzheimer’s is not so dangerous and does not require excessive care

The image of a sweet, happy grandmother on the rocking chair, as often people with dementia are portrayed in the movies, could not be further from the truth. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be one of the biggest and most exhausting trials a family faces. Dementia can start extremely mildly with no visible consequences, but over time it causes significant emotional, physical, and financial results that are not to be overlooked.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 17% of the caregivers must leave their jobs to care for their loved ones, and 28% say they have spent more than 40 hours a week in care, which is a full-time job.

People who care for people with dementia also have a higher rate of taking antidepressants than other caregivers. That is why residences, or the well-known in our country homes for adults of family type are becoming more and more popular abroad. Not just traditional, purely domestic care, but also mental support, daily exercises, and attention that the child often cannot give to his dementia mother (for example), as he must work and take care of his own family at the same time. In our country, it seems, the opinion of the population is still divided into two in terms of third-party intervention and care. However, the Blocks Adult and Memory Care campus aims to provide just the high-quality service that pays attention to detail and family coziness, trying not only to care for the sick, but even to improve the so-called “incurable” condition of Alzheimer’s.

Myth #4. We know what causes Alzheimer’s and how to treat it

Unfortunately, there is much speculation and minimal evidence of what causes Alzheimer’s disease. Honestly, it is difficult to guarantee to reliability of any research that has emerged over the years. Studies showing that product choices of lifestyles cause the disease or alleviate symptoms are often at odds with another study. Treatments that cure or change the course off the disease simply do not exist. Non-pharmaceutical approaches to the care of people with dementia are usually preferred, but require special training, patience and careful work.

Myth #5. Life ends when you are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a terminal disease for which there is not cure – yes, that’s right. Receiving this diagnosis can lead to a devastating feeling by the patient. However, the disease does not mean the end. The right approach, care, focus on the individual (not the disease!) allow people with dementia to live a happy and fulfilling life for years. Check out some easy activities that are applied in memory care center worldwide and in homes like Blocks, whose conditions and team allow this to happen.

Myth #6. Alzheimer’s affects everyone in the same way

It should be clear to everyone that Alzheimer’s disease is a family problem. It affects one person, but also affects everyone who care about that person. And the care for people with dementia is not the same – over the years it inevitably changes with the so-called progression of the disease, which occurs at different times.

Due to the complexity of the brain and how the disease literally destroys it, dementia occurs differently for everyone. For some people, the progression of the disease may be only a few years, while for others it may be a decade or more.

Behavior and symptoms also vary greatly from person to person. They can change from day to day for the same person, which also depends on how the family copes with the disease. If a person is only cared for in terms of the basics, due to the inability to spend more time on his mental health, he will certainly deteriorate faster and communication with him will be almost impossible.

There is a lot of information about Alzheimer’s disease and how it affects our families, loved ones and communities. Until we have clear answers, the myths about the disease will continue, but one thing is for sure – paying attention, self-education and listening to those who control or deal with the disease is the best way to save the life of a loved one.

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