Encountering symptoms of dementia in a senior loved one brings up a wide range of questions about Alzheimer’s disease: Is it truly Alzheimer’s, or might it be another form of dementia? What’s the cause of Alzheimer’s? What treatment options are available? And how is it clinically diagnosed, anyway? With our extensive experience in caring for people dealing with Alzheimer’s, Partners in Senior Care has compiled answers to some of the most common questions we receive:
- What’s the cause of Alzheimer’s disease?
Researchers don’t yet fully comprehend what causes Alzheimer’s disease. However, chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, diet, exercise, and level of socialization may possibly play a role in whether or not someone develops Alzheimer’s.
- Just what is the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia?
Dementia is the symptom and Alzheimer’s is the cause of the symptom. In essence, one can have dementia without it being Alzheimer’s disease, such as the dementia resulting from a head injury, Parkinson’s, a stroke or vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia or Lewy body disease. Some causes of dementia may be reversible, but most are degenerative and will worsen over time.
- How is Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed?
Presently, only an autopsy can definitively prove the presence of Alzheimer’s disease. However, physicians can correctly diagnose Alzheimer’s disease around 90 percent of the time according to mental and behavioral symptoms, a physical evaluation, blood tests, urinalysis and neuropsychological tests.
- Are there treatment options available for Alzheimer’s disease?
There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are medications that can help to manage some symptoms such as depression, aggression or hallucinations. Some medications, however, might react badly with other Alzheimer’s medications as well as worsen other symptoms of the disease. It is important to talk through the best medication options and plan of care with your or your loved one’s doctor. In addition, numerous Alzheimer’s symptoms are caused by non-medical triggers which can often be managed without the use of medications. If the trigger can be determined, the person’s environment can be adapted to change the behavior.
Caring for your senior loved one with Alzheimer’s can be intimidating. Partners in Senior Care’s highly trained and caring staff offer a wide range of solutions to help you, including much needed respite care to allow you time to renew and to focus on spending quality time with your loved one, leaving the more repetitive tasks to us. We’re helping a number of families navigate the path of Alzheimer’s in Wilmette and the surrounding areas, and would love to help you too. Contact us online or give us a call us at 847-548-1330 for more information about our Wilmette IL area senior care.