Getting the news that your loved one has dementia is a great deal to take in. With that, there are many misconceptions and myths that might lead you to receive mixed information about the condition of your loved one. Here are some common myths about Alzheimer’s disease and the reality of it. It is important that you and your family have the proper information needed, so you can enjoy your interactions with your loved one and plan properly for them.
Myth: Memory loss is a natural part of aging.
Reality: As people age, it’s normal to have occasional memory problems such as forgetting the name of a person you’ve recently met. However, Alzheimer’s is more than occasional memory loss. It’s a disease that causes brain cells to malfunction and ultimately die. When this happens, an individual may forget the name of a longtime friend or what roads to take to return to a home where they’ve lived for decades.
Myth: Alzheimer’s disease is not fatal.
Reality: Alzheimer’s disease has no survivors. It destroys brain cells and causes memory changes, erratic behaviors, and loss of bodily functions. It slowly and painfully takes away a person’s identity, ability to connect with others, think, eat, talk, walk, and find his or her way home.
Myth: Only older people can get Alzheimer’s.
Reality: Alzheimer’s can strike people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. This is called younger-onset Alzheimer’s, or early-onset Alzheimer’s. Of the 5.3 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, an estimated 5.1 million people are age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65.
Myth: There are treatments available to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Reality: At this time, there is no treatment to cure, delay, or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. FDA-approved drugs temporarily slow the worsening of symptoms for about 6 to 12 months, on average, for about half of the individuals who take them.
We hope this information helps you and/or your family members understand a little more about Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the misconceptions surrounding it. For more information on this subject and how Sagora can ensure or encourage your loved one to live their best quality of life visit one of our Memory Care communities.
February 22, 2018
Written by Alice Warner