Google Rating

During National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, Regency Retirement Village of Morristown is actively promoting awareness of the disease and its symptoms.

November marks Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, a pivotal time dedicated to increasing awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. Over 6 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s, predominantly impacting individuals aged 75 or older. Recognizing the global impact of the disease, activists worldwide focus on Alzheimer’s education and advocacy throughout the month of November.

At Regency Retirement Village of Morristown, we emphasize the significance of Alzheimer’s awareness not only during November but year-round. Many of our residents grapple with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, making it a cause close to our hearts. Our commitment to raising awareness and providing education stems from the relationships we’ve built with these residents and their families.

In tribute to Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we’ve shared pertinent facts and figures about the disease in this blog. Our aim is that understanding the causes, symptoms, and potential treatments of Alzheimer’s will empower you to prioritize your health and inspire friends and family to do the same.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s is a neurological disorder that affects memory, thinking, and daily activities. It starts with minor memory lapses and evolves into significant mental, physical, and behavioral challenges. Contrary to common misconception, Alzheimer’s is not a natural aspect of aging, and unfortunately, there is currently no cure.

The impact of Alzheimer’s extends to areas of the brain associated with memory, movement, thinking, and language. Abnormal plaques and tangles, known as amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary, inflict damage on these brain regions. Additionally, damage can occur between brain cells. As the condition advances, the brain sustains more damage, exacerbating the symptoms of the disease.

While the exact origin of Alzheimer’s remains unclear, many researchers believe that it stems from the accumulation of misfolded proteins between brain cells. Over time, these proteins lead to damage in the surrounding brain tissue, affecting the individual’s thinking, memory, behavior, and more.

Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Raising awareness about the symptoms and signs of Alzheimer’s disease is a primary objective during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Being able to recognize common characteristics of the disease is pivotal for early detection, which can significantly enhance the prognosis and quality of life for the patient. The sooner Alzheimer’s is identified, the earlier treatment can start.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Its Progression

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) often evolves into Alzheimer’s Disease, presenting with milder memory and cognition issues compared to Alzheimer’s. While individuals with MCI can typically manage daily activities, they face an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Monitoring symptoms under the guidance of a medical professional is crucial for assessing improvement or progression and formulating an effective care plan.

Symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment:

  • Frequent misplacement of items
  • Forgetting appointments or significant events
  • Difficulty finding words

While occasional memory lapses are normal in healthy aging, persistent issues may indicate mild cognitive impairment. While it’s expected to occasionally misplace items or forget tasks, heightened forgetfulness should prompt a visit to the doctor.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease:

In Alzheimer’s disease, symptoms of MCI become more pronounced, accompanied by additional symptoms.

  • Frequent misplacement of items
  • Forgetting appointments or significant events
  • Difficulty finding words
  • Repeating questions or stories
  • Difficulty engaging in conversations
  • Challenges in reading or writing
  • Problems handling payments and money
  • Difficulty with daily activities
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia

Given the variability of Alzheimer’s symptoms among individuals, continuous observation of changes over time is essential. This ongoing monitoring helps doctors assess an individual’s baseline functioning, aiding in the evaluation of symptom progression.

Treating and Managing Alzheimer’s

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are various prescription drugs designed to manage symptoms and potentially address the disease itself. Notably, FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments are most effective during the early or middle stages of the disease. These treatments include:

Cholinesterase Inhibitors:

  • Often prescribed for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s symptoms.
  • Helps control cognitive decline.
  • Mitigates behavioral symptoms associated with the condition.

Immunotherapy Treatments:

  • Target amyloid plaques in the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Promising for reducing plaque size and potentially slowing disease progression.
  • These treatments are still undergoing testing.

In addition to pharmaceutical approaches, alternative methods for symptom management involve activities that promote cognitive functioning. At Regency Morristown, our Memory Care staff actively organizes these types of activities for residents with dementia disorders or Alzheimer’s Disease:

Cognitive-Enhancing Activities:

  • Puzzles to stimulate mental engagement.
  • Creative projects such as writing and painting.
  • Group social activities to activate memory and cognition.

By incorporating these activities, our goal is to contribute to the reduction of memory loss and enhance the overall well-being of our residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia disorders.

Year-Round Alzheimer’s Awareness

Given the significant impact of Alzheimer’s disease on numerous families each year, it is imperative to extend awareness beyond Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, an increasing number of treatments are exhibiting positive effects and gaining approval. A deeper understanding of Alzheimer’s symptoms enhances the likelihood of early detection, enabling individuals to seek treatments that can enhance their quality of life.

At Regency Retirement Village of Morristown, our commitment to Alzheimer’s Awareness extends throughout the entire year. Sustaining awareness year-round serves to promote early detection, a crucial factor in significantly improving the quality of life for those affected by Alzheimer’s. Regular cognitive assessments and ongoing awareness initiatives contribute to timely detection, facilitating better care and support.

Continual education plays a pivotal role in nurturing a compassionate and well-informed community. We actively educate ourselves and others about Alzheimer’s through resource sharing, workshops, and discussions aimed at increasing understanding and diminishing the stigma associated with the disease.

Our commitment also involves supporting caregivers. Recognizing the vital role caregivers play in the lives of individuals with Alzheimer’s, we provide support, resources, and respite care to assist them in managing the challenges they face while ensuring optimal care for their loved ones. Moreover, we help caregivers when the decision is made to transition to more specialized, supportive care within our community.

We hope the information shared has deepened your understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and its global impact. Our goal is to raise awareness among those affected by the disease and their family members. Enhanced awareness enables better symptom management and facilitates the pursuit of effective treatment options for Alzheimer’s and other dementia disorders.

Should you or a loved one have any inquiries regarding Alzheimer’s disease or our Memory Care facility, please contact us. Our dedication lies in supporting families like yours throughout the aging process, and our mission is to assist families in making the best care choices for their loved ones. As National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month approaches, we encourage you to seize the opportunity to share this blog or other informative resources, empowering us all to take charge of our health journeys.