Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease can save a senior’s life
Nobody likes getting old, but unfortunately, this is inevitable. As you know, your body goes through many changes as you age. And this, in turn, can cause many health issues. Of course, you can prevent some of these with a healthy and active lifestyle, but some are unavoidable. Not to mention that despite the incredible medical progress, some illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s, remain uncurable. All of this can be very scary for both seniors and their loved ones. However, early detection and diagnosis can make a difference. So, let’s find out how early detection of Alzheimer’s disease can save a senior’s life.
You might not be dealing with Alzheimer’s
People tend to conclude that seniors have Alzheimer’s or dementia when they show signs of mental impairment. But the truth is that many conditions can cause similar symptoms. Therefore, you should never self-diagnose. Consult a doctor or several doctors. Unfortunately, misdiagnoses are not that uncommon regarding mental health issues. So, don’t hesitate to get a second opinion.
The good news is that many of the conditions that cause Alzheimer’s-like symptoms are treatable. Among these are: normal pressure hydrocephalus, thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies, depression, and even alcohol abuse. In this latter case, the experts at Bright Futures Treatment Center recommend seeking professional help from an addiction treatment center. These facilities offer both inpatient and outpatient services that can help you fight your addiction and prevent more severe health issues.
Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease can save a senior’s life by delaying severe symptoms
While there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, there is some medication that can delay the severe symptoms. However, this medication is more efficient in the early stages of the disease. Thus, early detection is key. Nevertheless, you have to be aware that, in this case, the medication does not reverse the symptoms. It is only used to slow down the disease.
You can participate in clinical trials
Even though there’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, it doesn’t mean there’s no hope for the future. Due to medical advances, a cure could be right around the corner. And such a cure can only come to be through clinical trials. Of course, nobody wants to get their hopes up only to be disappointed later. But by participating in clinical trials, you can at least help researchers get closer to a cure. However, early detection of Alzheimer’s is imperative in this case since it represents a condition for many of these trials.
Caption: Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease can save a senior’s life by enabling him/her to participate in clinical trials.
Alt: A researcher analyzing the results of a clinical trial.
You have time to make all the important decisions
While an Alzheimer’s diagnosis will probably make you feel disempowered, you can regain some of that power through planning. Early detection enables you to make all the necessary financial and medical decisions for your future. For example, you can draw up a financial power of attorney and a medical one to make your wishes known. These wishes can refer to the medical care facilities or services you prefer, as well as the end-of-life arrangements. Furthermore, you get to choose the person you want to put in charge of all future decisions that concern you.
You can start looking for a caregiver
With early detection, you have enough time to search for the right caregiver. Surely, nobody likes to impose on family members, but sometimes this is unavoidable. So, in this case, you must prepare that person for what’s coming. They need to be well informed on what this disease entails so that they can prepare mentally. Nevertheless, if you can afford to hire help, don’t hesitate to do it. Family members will have a hard time as it is witnessing your mental capacities deteriorate; being your caregiver as well might be a bit too much.
Caption: Early detection of Alzheimer’s offers you enough time to find the right caregiver.
Alt: A caregiver checking if a senior has a temperature.
You can record memories
The worst part about Alzheimer’s is that it robs you of your most precious memories. Therefore, with early detection, you can choose to record significant moments. This will serve as a great keepsake for your loved ones and might even trigger your memory down the road. You can make videos, take photos or keep a journal.
You can pursue your dreams
Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease can save a senior’s life by determining him/her to pursue his/her dreams. It might sound strange to do this when you’re old, but a diagnosis like this will make you cherish life more. Therefore, why not pack your bags and go on that trip you’ve always dreamed of? Or try a new hobby. The idea is to live life to the fullest until your symptoms get worse. And don’t perceive it as selfishness. After all, this is your life, and you’ve earned the right to live it as you please.
Caption: Early detection of Alzheimer’s enables you to pursue your dreams, such as taking that trip you’ve always dreamed of.
Alt: An elderly couple enjoying a trip at the seaside.
You can find ways to remain independent for longer
Early detection enables you to remain independent for longer. Of course, it might get harder to take care of all the cooking and cleaning. But, there are solutions. At first, you can simply downsize. Since your kids are all grown up, you no longer need a huge house to accommodate them. So, look for a small apartment on the ground floor of a building. Or, you can make the transition to a retirement community. Here, you’ll also have people to socialize with and can receive some extra help when needed.
You have time to come to terms with it
After the initial shock of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you’ll have enough time to come to terms with it. Surely, nobody wants to accept this, but it’s important to get passed the denial and anger stages. Otherwise, you won’t be able to enjoy your good years. To reach that point of acceptance, you can seek some support groups. Talking with people who are going through the same thing is very helpful. Plus, they can also provide advice and encouragement. And don’t hesitate to invite your loved ones to attend as well. After all, they also have to come to terms with it.
With age come many health issues. And one of the worst is Alzheimer’s. This disease steals all your precious memories and makes you lose who you are. And as horrible as this is for the patient, it’s even worse for family members and friends who witness it all. Nevertheless, early detection of Alzheimer’s disease can save a senior’s life by delaying the severe symptoms. This way, you can still enjoy some good years and make the most out of the time you’ve got left.
Meta description: Are you or someone close to you experiencing signs of mental impairment? Find out how early detection of Alzheimer’s disease can save a senior’s life.