This past month, you may have seen people “turning purple” in an effort to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s — a disease that affects 6.2 million Americans of all ages according to the Alzheimer's Association.
Alzheimer’s is an incredibly complex disease that has affected millions of families. This June, take the time to learn a bit more about this disease, who it affects, and how you can make a difference.
Aging and Brain Health
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly affects a person’s memory and thinking skills. Over time, a person may lose their ability to carry out daily activities or take care of themselves.
The human brain is incredibly complex, so the disease can look very different from one person to another. However, it’s almost always characterized by significant memory loss, disorientation, and lowered thinking ability.
Alzheimer’s Facts and Statistics
- More than 11% (1 in 9) of people age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease.
- Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's are women.
- Older Black Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer's or other dementias as older Whites.
- The percentage of people with Alzheimer's dementia increases with age: 5.3% of people age 65 to 74, 13.8% of people age 75 to 84, and 34.6% of people age 85 and older have Alzheimer's dementia.
- By 2050, it’s projected that 13 million people will be living with Alzehimer’s in America.
- Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths have increased roughly 16% during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
- More than 11 million Americans provide unpaid care for friends, family, and loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- About one in three of those caregivers (30%) is age 65 or older themselves.
- Approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women; more specifically, over one-third of dementia caregivers are daughters.
- While deaths from other major causes have decreased significantly (such as heart disease), official records indicate that deaths from Alzheimer's disease have increased significantly over the years.
- After an Alzheimer’s dementia diagnosis, people live an average of four to eight additional years. However, some people have lived as long as 20 years with Alzheimer’s. This signifies how the disease can affect people differently.
- Though we have a strong understanding of the symptoms and characteristics of Alzheimer’s, the causes and risk factors are still relatively unknown.
How is Dementia Different from “Normal” Memory Loss?
Age-related memory loss is very common, which is why signs of dementia often get overlooked. However, the two are very different. While some degree of memory loss can be expected as our loved ones age, normal memory loss typically doesn’t progress as seriously or suddenly as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Additional signs of dementia include forgetting important information (such as birthdays or holidays), personality changes (most notably aggressive behavior, paranoia, or impulsiveness), and disorientation, particularly in new environments.
How Homewatch Caregivers of West LA is Making a Difference
People living with dementia often need specialized care. Here at Homewatch Caregivers of West LA, we’re proud to provide dementia-specific services so people living with Alzheimer’s can live a full and happy life.
We have a care team specially trained to know how to address moods and symptoms associated with various forms of dementia.
If your loved one has dementia, we know it’s difficult to care for them all on your own. Our Los Angeles dementia caregivers are personally trained to care for people with this disease and help they obtain as it progresses. Homewatch CareGivers strives to make home care human while providing our clients with trustworthy, highly-trained caregivers.