January 27, 2009

Main Risks For Alzheimer’s Disease (2)

Generally health has also been linked to Alzheimer’s, and falls under the “preventable” category. If you don’t eat a healthy food, you may be more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease in your later years. Those who smoke tobacco are also at bigger risk, as are those who drink too much amounts of alcohol. Staying socially active is also very important, because social activities exercise your mind. The more exercise you do with both your body and mind, the less likely you are to have Alzheimer’s disease.

The last major connection researchers have found deals with the head and the heart. There is already extremely powerful proof links brain health to heart health. Various heart damages like heart disease, diabetes, strokes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol will inadvertently increase your risk having Alzheimer’s disease. The more damage there is to the heart, in the form of pretty much anything, the weaker you will be against Alzheimer’s disease. The best advice here is to work with your doctor to assure you’re doing all you can do, and live as healthy as possible.

Not unexpectedly, the majority of researchers believe that general health is just as indicative of whether a person will catch Alzheimer’s as genetics is. This is both good news and bad news. The bad news is genetics does factor into Alzheimer’s disease, and that’s uncontrollable. The good news is genetics doesn’t factor in as much as people think, and as long as you are living a healthy lifestyle, you may be able to stave off Alzheimer’s disease. Eat properly, exercise both your mind and your body regularly, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier future.

January 21, 2009

Main Risks For Alzheimer’s Disease (1)

Alzheimer’s is such a disease that you need to plan for right away after the diagnosis. Still, some people enter the early stages of Alzheimer’s without even knowing they have it. The explanation for this is that they either don’t visit the doctor, or don’t realize that they’re at risk for the disease. Whilst doctors still don’t know closely what causes Alzheimer’s, they have narrowed it down. They think Alzheimer’s disease involves either the destruction or malfunction of nerve cells – but they still don’t know why this happens. However, doctors have agreed upon certain factors that may cause Alzheimer’s disease, some preventable, and some not.

The factor most agreed upon risk is age. It’s rather easy for doctors to agree upon this risk factor since the majority of people who have Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. Furthermore, the chances of having the disease almost double for every five years after the age of 65. Once person achievees the ripe old age of 85, the risk factor reaches almost fifty percent. Age is one of the unpreventable causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

Genetics and family history have always been thought to play a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s. Yet, that may be a misguided. Researchers found that the more individuals in a family who have Alzheimer’s, naturally the greater the risk for the rest of the family members. Moreover, people who have either a parent or a sibling with Alzheimer’s were two to three times more vulnerable to the disease. The researchers were able to find the gene practically guarantees that a person will have Alzheimer’s, however, the only gene that is directly responsible has been found in only a few hundred families, and accounts for a small amount of cases. This leads scientists to believe that most Alzheimer’s cases are due to both genetic and non-genetic factors.

Head injuries may play a much bigger factor than expected in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and thankfully it is one of the controllable risks. From what researchers have gathered, there is a very strong link between a major head injury and being at risk for Alzheimer’s. This means that anyone who has played a contact sport such as football or hockey will be more predisposed to Alzheimer’s. Do not misunderstand this as meaning that everyone who’s played a sport will get Alzheimer’s. It doesn’t really matter how you damage your head, as long as it gets banged up Alzheimer’s will have a higher chance of occurring.

January 14, 2009

Manage an Alzheimer’s Caregiver’s Depression (2)

You have to know there are others around more than willing to help you out. Such things can range from adult daycare to in-home assistance. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Then, be sure to educate yourself. As Alzheimer’s progresses into the later stages, new skills will become required, and old skills will become more important. Make sure you’re prepared for this change.

It’s important to remember to not only take care of the patient, but to take care of yourself as well. Make sure you’re watching your diet and exercise, and you’re getting plenty of sleep. Give yourself time to do things you enjoy – maybe go out for a round of golf, or go shopping. Just find something isn’t related to being a caregiver. It’s ok to do things for yourself once in a while.

Look out for stress. Stress is the cause of more problems than people expect. The more stressed you are, the more likely you’re to become agitated, and the less likely you are to think clearly. Make sure you’re managing your stress appropriately. Maybe find something like yoga or meditation, or some other form of relaxation technique. The results you can get from following some techniques are insightful.

Be willing to accept changes that may occur in the patient. Sometimes, something may happen, and you alone will not be enough to take care of the situation. That’s ok. It’s ok for a caregiver to ask for help, and it should be willingly available.

Make sure all the legal and financial planning that can possibly be done is finished. If you haven’t already consulted an attorney, then consult one. Do whatever you possibly can, and it’ll free your mind.

As a final point, be realistic, and give yourself some credit. The situation may not be perfect, but you have to understand that you are doing everything in your power to help the patient, and because of it, that patient is living a better life than they usually would. Being a caregiver is not a simple task, and you deserve full credit just for doing it.

January 06, 2009

Manage an Alzheimer’s Caregiver’s Depression (1)

Depression is very frequent among caregivers. This is because being a caregiver is a largely thankless job, and it is very hard emotionally. Many different feelings come up while you’re caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s, from stress and annoyance, to guilt and anguish. Unluckily, all of those emotions lead down the same road, and that is a road to depression.

To help keep depression at bay, you must first recognize the different signs of it. If you have four or more of the following symptoms, you should visit a doctor. The first trait general among those that are entering depression is irritability. For example, little things that didn’t use to bug you are starting to. Next, the caregiver may start to feel useless; being that besides helping people, there is very little reward in caring for someone. The caregiver may also start to feel really guilty, believing that they’re not doing enough for the patient. The caregiver’s thoughts may become decidedly darker, delving into things such as suicide. Simple motor skills will become more difficult, and sleep will not come. Sleeplessness is present in a few of those who are depressed. A general stupor may come over the caregiver. Activities that previously were very pleasurable for the caregiver, such as sports, will lose all their charm. The caregiver may have difficulty either thinking or concentrating. Finally, as far as exterior changes go, the caregiver’s need to eat may change dramatically, causing their weight to change.

If the caregiver has depression, they should immediately visit the doctor to work out just what is causing the depression – it may not even be related to the Alzheimer’s patient. But then again, the depression could very well be linked. You have to know what you’re dealing with before you can fight it. Once you know what’s causing it, there are a diversity of ways to treat it, which your doctor will know more about.

Nevertheless, there are some things that you can do before depression strikes. These things you can do to keep yourself happy, and keep depression at bay. We’ll talk about it in the next part of the article.