Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that affects memory. It can be very disheartening to see this disease developing in your parents. Make sure you are aware of the risk factors so you can take all necessary measures to protect your parents’ health. Here are just a few of them.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one of the first indicators of a development of Alzheimer’s is family history. An individual is more likely to develop the disease if a parent or sibling also had it. The risk is even higher if more than one family member has Alzheimer’s. Prevalence in a family can be due to both genetic and environmental factors. It’s important to understand how family history can impact the development of Alzheimer’s so you can be adequately prepared.
Loss of Senses
As Alzheimer’s develops, connections in the brain begin to disintegrate. Primarily we think of how this affects memory and other brain functions, but it also impacts how the brain processes the senses. Smell in particular has been a major indicator. Individuals with Alzheimer’s are either confused by what they smell or they lack any sensory recognition. Sight is another major sense impacted by Alzheimer’s. There is no physical damage to the eye, but it becomes difficult for the brain to process certain images. This can be true of shapes, colors, and even faces.
According to Audien Hearing, people with hearing loss are almost twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s. They might have perfect hearing, but their brain doesn’t process the sounds properly. It can cause confusion and stress. This is why individuals with Alzheimer’s prefer a calm and quiet environment.
According to Aegis, research has shown that Alzheimer’s is common among individuals with heart conditions. The brain is nourished by a network of blood vessels so if your heart is not optimally healthy it can also affect your brain. Some conditions include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Make sure your parents consult with their doctor about monitoring their heart health. It can be helpful to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and reduce stress. Another condition that could create risk is head injuries. Make sure your parents take all precautions such as wearing a seatbelt or “fall proofing” their home. Overall, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help to address risk factors.
The development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be very difficult on a family. Being aware of risk factors can help you catch the signs early and intervene. Work with your parents on their health in order to lower the risk.
If you need help caring for a parent, let us know! Contact us to schedule an appointment for our home health care services.