Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease
- September 5, 2023
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia in the United States, accounting for approximately 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases. Nearly six million Americans live with the disease, doubling every five years in patients over the age of 65. Given these staggering statistics, it’s vital to understand Alzheimer’s disease and the impact it can have on families and our community.
One common misconception is that all seniors eventually succumb to Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. This is not the case. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, and many adults won’t suffer from this or any other type of dementia in their lifetime. As there is still no cure for Alzheimer's, early detection and intervention are critical for slowing the progress of the disease and improving the quality of life of those affected.
Recognizing there are factors such as genetics, lifestyle and overall health that potentially can put seniors at higher risk for Alzheimer’s, I encourage my patients at ArchWell Health to focus on prevention by managing chronic conditions, engaging in social activities and playing brain-stimulating games like Sudoku and crossword puzzles. Additionally, it is suggested that seniors consider incorporating some, if not all, of the following practices into their lifestyle regardless of diagnosis and regardless of age:
- Engage in regular physical exercise such as yoga, walking, swimming, dancing and gardening, ideally four times a week for at least 40 minutes
- Putting safety first, learn to do new activities you haven’t tried before
- Stimulate the brain by changing up your routine often
- Maintain a healthy diet and make sure to include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats
- Challenge yourself by playing a musical instrument, learning a new language or traveling to a new destination of interest
- Engage in social activities at your local ArchWell Health, or connect with your community or church through volunteer opportunities
- Make sure to get six to eight hours of sleep each night and manage chronic conditions
- Educate yourself about Alzheimer’s and other common diseases, and maintain open communication with your caregivers and medical providers
The care team at ArchWell Health are experts in senior care serving communities from four centers throughout St. Louis. Focused on delivering quality primary care, the company spends above average time with each patient so they can identify lesser-known symptoms of Alzheimer’s, such as difficulties with language and problem-solving, mood and personality changes and a decline in social activities.
For more information about prevention and care or to learn how to become an ArchWell Health member, visit archwellhealth.com/livewell or give us a call at 314-449-9727.