Alzheimer’s is not just a disease that affects older people. Early-onset Alzheimer’s can affect people who are younger than 65 years of age and close to 5% of the more than 5 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease have younger-onset. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, many Americans with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease are in their 40s and 50s. These alarming statistics and others related to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are what drive HealthStar Home Health to spread the word about the importance of early detection.
The brain is a powerful and complex organ with just three main parts that make up the brain itself. Alzheimer’s disease is present when the activity of neurotransmitters and electrical charges in our brain’s function is disrupted. A person with Alzheimer’s will experience nerve cell death and tissue loss in the brain and over time the brain will shrink dramatically, which in turn affects nearly all brain function.
In the very early stages of Alzheimer’s, before testing can even detect the symptoms, a person may notice slight issues in the learning and memory as well as the thinking and planning functioning of the brain. Early symptoms may include confusion or difficulty in these areas:
- Time and place
- Completing routine tasks at work or home
- Finding the right words to use or joining a conversation
- Misplacing items
- Judgement or decision-making
- Mood and personality changes
- Avoiding work or social activities
Many of these symptoms may sound familiar, but that doesn’t mean a person experiencing some of these has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. There is typical age-related changes and functions we all experience as we age. The changes experienced by a person with Alzheimer’s are much more extreme, advanced and happen more often than a typical ‘forgetful moment’.
Early detection is key, so if you or a loved one are noticing changes and symptoms don’t ignore them! There may be treatment available as well as clinical studies, so make an appointment with your primary physician right away to discuss health options.
HealthStar Home Health is proud to serve our Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota metro communities by offering FREE memory screenings. HealthStar is returning to the 2016 Minnesota State Fair beginning in August with a mission to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias by, once again, providing FREE memory screenings to anyone who stops by our booth. HealthStar Home Health understands the importance of proper early detection and treatment of dementia or Alzheimer’s and is offering face-to-face memory screenings which will only take a few minutes to complete and consist of a series of questions and tasks that will access memory. Knowing that as many as 70% of families are opting to care for their aging loved ones at home, HealthStar offers a program called Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care which offers support both in and out of the home to the caregivers and families dealing with the stress and challenging behaviors associated with this disease. HealthStar feels strongly that memory loss screenings are the first step toward the detection and treatment of early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Another way HealthStar provides support and care for those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is to be an official sponsor of a film about Alzheimer’s titled His Neighbor Phil. This film tells the story of Harvey, a man whose wife Mary has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. This touching film not only shows the effects of this disease on Mary, but also their entire family and the community they live in. Although the film deals with the honest realities, it mainly focuses its attention on the tireless work of the caregivers and how their lives are also affected by the disease. Take a moment to watch a trailer about the moving film His Neighbor Phil.
If you or a loved one are concerned about symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, remember you are not alone. Early detection is important so plan to visit HealthStar Home Health at our booth in the HealthFair 11 building at the corner of Dan Patch & Cooper at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair to participate in a FREE, confidential memory screening. HealthStar Home Health will be conducting memory screenings August 25 – September 5 from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm each day. See you at the fair!