June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. As a family caregiver this is the ideal time for you to learn as much as you can about this progressive disease so that you can prepare yourself to give your parent the best care possible as they age in place. One of the most important elements of awareness is being able to recognize the particular risk that your senior may be facing. This helps you to understand this risk so that you can care for your parent in a way that lowers the risk, or that will help them to manage their condition in the best way possible.
Some risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s include:
• Age. The most pressing risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is age. The majority of people who are living with this condition are over the age of 64. More than 10 percent of seniors who are in this age group are living with Alzheimer’s disease. This percentage increases to nearly 30 percent for those who are over the age of 85 .
• Genetics. Research has shown that certain people have genes that predispose them to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. While this does not mean that they will absolutely develop the condition, it does mean that they are at higher risk for the condition.
• Family history. Your senior is at higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia if they have a parent, sibling, or child who is suffering from the condition.
• Ethnicity. Seniors who are of Latino descent have approximately one and a half times the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as whites. Blacks are around twice as likely.
• History of head injury. Those who have suffered head injuries are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. This is especially true for those who have had repeated injuries, or who have lost consciousness as a result of the injury.
Caring for an elderly adult with Alzheimer’s disease can be extremely challenging. If you are on this type of journey with your aging loved one, starting elder care for them might be the best decision that you can make for both of you. An elderly home care services provider can be with your parent on the customized schedule that is right for them. This means that whether they have extensive care needs or are only at the beginning of their progression with the disease, you can both feel confident that they are getting the level of care, support, and assistance that is right for them. The elder care provider can work with your parent to help them manage their individual needs, challenges, and limitations while also supporting as active, fulfilling, and independent a lifestyle as possible. By helping to keep them safe, healthy, and comfortable while helping them to pursue activity, engagement, and involvement, this care provider can help your parent see that there can still be meaning and value in this new chapter of their lives even as they move through their progression with the disease.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Hamilton, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.