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National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

As people grow older, the threat of Alzheimer’s and dementia can cause a great deal of stress for themselves and their loved ones. To honor National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, we at Paragon want to provide families and caregivers the information needed to understand Alzheimer’s, as well as ways to combat it. This information can be further explored in-depth at the Alzheimer’s Association’s website.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that causes memory and cognitive-function loss. It accounts for 60-80% of cases of dementia, making it the most common cause. Other cases of dementia include Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

While aging remains to be the greatest risk for attaining Alzheimer’s, it is not the root cause. Early-onset Alzheimer’s affects as many as 200,000 Americans who are under the age of 65. Regardless of age, however, Alzheimer’s is a disease that will worsen with time. As years pass, dementia symptoms tend to become more noticeable – memory loss will progress and it will become increasingly difficult to form conversation. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, treatment is available that can delay the effects of dementia and improve the quality of life for those fighting the disease.

While researchers continue to search for a cure, here are just a few ways the Alzheimer’s Association recommends helping a patient or loved one struggling with Alzheimer’s.

Patience is a virtue. Adjusting to the effects of the disease can be difficult from an outside perspective, but it’s important to empathize with the individual and help them in a way that matches their pace.

Engage in conversation. Even if the effected person is becoming more limited in their ability to carry a conversation, always try to get them involved when you have the chance.

Keep in touch. Struggling with Alzheimer’s can be a scary experience that oftentimes will leave individuals with feelings of isolation and loneliness. Even the smallest gestures, whether it’s a visit or a phone call, can go a long way.

For further information on Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association has a 24/7 hotline that can be reached at 800.272.3900. If you’d like to make a donation to help fight the disease, you can do so here.

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