Can someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s live in an assisted living facility (ALF)? According to most facilities: yes.
Alzheimer’s disease tends to begin gradually with unnoticeable signs, and then it progresses into symptoms that are easily recognized. The beginning stages, though, are where it gets tricky for family members. It is not uncommon for family members to miss some of these signs.
Even if someone is losing their memory, they can still enjoy many activities. It is not that difficult to find interesting things that anyone with dementia can enjoy. Think of simple, relaxing activities.
While the loss of memory is terrible, other symptoms affect the lives of those with AD. Alzheimer’s is a disease that steals not only the memory, but the quality of life from those it affects. Simple day to day activities become difficult or even impossible to perform.
An anti-oxidant known that is manufactured by the body and is used to promote proper reactions in cells. It has been determined by some studies that Q10 does not have a prfound effect on Alzheimer’s, though some physicians do encourage their patients to use the supplement. Too much Q10 can be detrimental to the body and self treatment without the aid of a physician should not be undertaken.
Dementia itself is not a disease. It is a symptom of an underlying condition. Different conditions can mimic the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Thorough testing of the stricken individual’s mental cognition and their ability to complete their activities of daily living (ADLs) can help pinpoint the underlying cause of dementia.
These drugs are prescribed for individuals in the mild to moderate stages of AD. Cholinesterase inhibitors may help with certain behavioral issues and may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease for a short time. All of the cholinesterase inhibitors work the same way, by helping the brain chemical acetylcholine avoid breakdown. As the disease progresses, these drugs may lose their ability to help reduce the signs and symptoms of AD.
FTD has an average onset age of 60. This is not a concrete number because some cases of FTD have been observed in patients as young as 21 years of age. Alzheimer’s disease is most commonly diagnosed at or after the age of 70.
In 2006, experts at Johns Hopkins University estimated that over 26 million people globally were living with Alzheimer’s disease. They also projected that instances of Alzheimer’s disease would increase globally to more than 106 million cases by the year 2050.
In the early 1900’s, Dr. Alois Alzheimer identified certain structures in the brain of a deceased patient that had suffered from what we now would refer to as dementia. He found what medical science calls ‘tangles’ in the nerve structures. Thanks to his research and discovery, a definite diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is made when these tangles are found in the brain during a post-mortem autopsy. Of course, the name for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is that doctor’s legacy.
More and more assisted living facilities are seeing the importance of providing care to seniors who suffer not just from old age, but from Alzheimer’s or other forms of memory loss. Little Sisters of the Poor Sacred Heart, an assisted living home in Toledo, Ohio, plans to add more nursing beds, as a result of a generous donation of 22 bed licenses, worth $330,000, from ProMedica Health System. This will bring the home’s total skilled nursing beds to 47.
For those charged with caring for seniors, one of the most difficult and most important jobs is ensuring that they get the appropriate medications at the right time. Because the elderly often suffer from a number of illnesses, they may take several different pills each day.
If you are among the many family members searching for an option for your loved one that will allow them to continue being independent–you may want to look very closely at the facility you are considering. All assisted living communities are not created equal in regards to independence.
A Scary Statistic
A recent study that examined elderly patients in long-term care institutions in Italy reported that the elderly in ALFs and skilled nursing homes are more likely to commit suicide than seniors who live in community-centered housing.
There are situations where a resident can be forced to move out of their assisted living facility. Families are often caught by surprise when something like this occurs and are not sure where to turn for help.
If you have a loved one in an assisted living facility, you know that the staff will help with certain daily tasks. However, there are limits as to what help and support assisted living employees can provide to residents. When seniors need additional care beyond what is offered by the facility, they often hire personal caregivers to pick up the slack.
The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published the results of a study that studied the sleep habits of 121 people. All were residents of Assisted Living Facilities- residents of these facilities for two years or less.
Regular clothes can be difficult to put on and take off for seniors in assisted living. Residents who struggle to lift their arms or bend at the waist may find it easier to get dressed with a wardrobe that is specially designed to help them avoid problems.
We don’t know. Scientific evidence is still lacking in an understanding of how Alzheimer’s disease develops, whether lifestyle choices can affect the progression of the debilitating illness or even whether or not professionally administered memory tests can predict its course.
The move into an Assisted Living Facility need not mean the loss of a healthy love life. Leaps and bounds in medical science has improved the enjoyment of sexual activity for those beyond entry into life as a senior citizen. Attention to good diet and exercise has created a healthier older generation that can (and will!) continue dating and having sexual relations far beyond what was once considered ‘the norm’.
It’s a sad fact that because assisted living facilities are designed for transition periods, it’s possible for residents with deteriorating mental faculties to find their way away from their new home.
The majority of staff members at assisted living communities are friendly, professional, adequately trained and qualified. However, you should ALWAYS research the staff at assisted living communities you are considering.
They say that smell is the sense tied strongest to memory. If that’s the case, I’m shocked that my dad has the ability to remember as much as he is able to these days. Luckily, he was a musician before becoming an engineer, and for him music plays the role of triggering previous good times.
Alzheimer’s is thought to begin years, perhaps even decades, before symptoms are noticeable. But there is no single, generally accepted way to identify the disease in its earliest stages – before symptoms are evident.