Across the world, there are 50 million people who have Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. Alzheimer’s primarily affects persons over the age of 65 and is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. In June, Family Tree In-Home Care joins other organizations and people worldwide in recognizing Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

Female home caregiver talking with a senior woman with Alzheimer's, sitting in the living room and listening to her carefully.
Female home caregiver talking with senior woman, sitting in living room and listening to her carefully.

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a condition that affects the brain’s cells, causing problems with memory, thinking, behavior, and social functioning. As the disease progresses, brain cells deteriorate and eventually die. This results in a decline in the level of functioning for those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

It is believed that changes in the brain take place many years before symptoms appear. However, when they do appear in the early stages, a person may face memory loss and confusion. Ultimately, the disease advances to where independent tasks like getting dressed or eating are not possible. Alzheimer’s can also cause changes in mood and behavior such as aggressiveness, social withdrawal, depression, distrust, and change in sleeping habits.

Although science is still trying to understand the causes of the disease, it is widely accepted that specific proteins in the brain cause destruction and disruption of normal processes necessary for proper brain function.

There is currently no treatment for Alzheimer’s, but there are medications that can improve a person’s ability to function for a time. Although the disease cannot be prevented, certain factors that place an individual at risk of developing Alzheimer’s, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity, if addressed, can reduce a person’s risk.

How You Can Help

The Alzheimer’s Association and The Longest Day

The Alzheimer’s Association is dedicated to the eradication of Alzheimer’s disease. In June, during Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, attention is given to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias to increase public knowledge about these debilitating and deadly diseases. As caregivers to the elderly, Family Tree In-Home care supports the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association and is deeply involved in the work they do, annually participating in their walk events to promote awareness and research.

The Longest Day is a day to express support for people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and their caregivers. It is an opportunity to highlight these diseases and raise money for the Association’s research efforts. It is observed on June 20, which is the summer solstice. This day with the most light (the longest day), symbolizes the struggle those with Alzheimer’s (and their caregivers) endure, as well as the determination to fight the darkness of the disease. On this day, participants engage in various activities they choose to honor those who are affected.

Supporting Someone With Alzheimer’s

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be frustrating at times, especially when certain behaviors such as mood swings and irritability may be present. Below are some tips for managing the care of someone with Alzheimer’s.

  • Establish a routine, but be flexible in your scheduling of tasks
  • Provide clear and simple instructions
  • Create a safe environment
  • Provide a limited amount of choices when making decisions

Learn More About Alzheimer’s

At Family Tree In-Home Care, we know the caregiving needs for someone with Alzheimer’s can be substantial and overwhelming. As a trusted entity in the community, we have experience fulfilling the home care needs of thousands of families. Through services such as personal care, meal preparation, and household assistance, we can provide care to your loved one as well. Contact us today to learn about our full range of services and how we can help.