Alzheimer’s disease. You know about it; you are probably even a little afraid of it. You know that it primarily strikes senior citizens. You know that it destroys connections in the brain that breaks down memories and cognitive abilities. You also know that hundreds of thousands of Canadians live with Alzheimer’s disease. But what do you REALLY know about Alzheimer’s disease beyond that? Here are 10 important facts about Alzheimer’s that you might not know:
- There are currently 564,000 Canadians who suffer from the disease. The number is expected to rise to 937,000 in the next 15 years. Currently, 1.1 million Canadians are directly or indirectly affected by the disease.
- A common myth about Alzheimer’s is that only seniors can get it. Not true. Though the risk is significantly lower, Alzheimer’s can hit anyone at any age. Currently, there are 16,000 Canadians under the age of 65 who suffer from dementia.
- Women are more at risk. Of the current diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients, 65% of them are women. There is no consensus on why this is so.
- Smoking plays a factor. Outside causes can play a role in development of Alzheimer’s. Those who smoke are 45% more at risk to dementia.
- Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease and there is no cure. It starts with memory loss and leads to severe brain damage.
- Other outside factors for Alzheimer’s can be repeated head trauma, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and family history.
- Alzheimer’s disease is deadlier than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
- There is a risk that increased mental and emotional stress can lead to Alzheimer’s.
- There are 25,000 new cases of dementia in Canada every year.
- Canadians spend $10.4 billion on health care annually for those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
For those suffering from Alzheimer’s, it is a terrifying and frustrating deal. It can also be difficult for those caring for them as they need to provide daily needs while dealing with the heartbreak of watching a loved one suffer.
The Alzheimer Society provides excellent programs including:
- family caregiver training on understanding the disease,
- courses on how to cope and deal with the suffering of a spouse or parent, and,
- Support groups for family caregivers to learn and support each other and themselves.
Family members of Alzheimer sufferers should be aware of their own burnout rate while caring for their loved one. Seeking Respite Care would give them the break they need to recharge and at the same time, provide the mental and/ or physical stimulation for the Alzheimer sufferer to slow down the disease.
If you are currently caring for a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, it might be time to consider professional help. A progressive and innovative home health care agency, iCare Home Health offers an unrivaled 1:1 Alzheimer & Dementia specific care programs, with the option of leveraging their unique Expressive Art Program to help raise the client self esteem, offer another mode of self expression among its several benefits. Also check out their Resources page for a brief understanding of the disease, its stages and tips on how to deal with it.
iCare Home Health can offer relief to you and your loved one. The premier home health care agency operates in Mississauga, Burlington, and the entire Greater Toronto area, iCare Home Health will provide the best health care directly in the home. A professional and compassionate health worker will come to your home and provide the care your loved one needs. Contact us today and find out more.