#ENDALZ: June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

#ENDALZ: June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

Colors are powerful stimuli that can affect our moods and behaviors. Each one is associated with certain characteristics such as bravery or prosperity. Among other traits, the color purple represents mystery. It is also a combination of the coolest and the warmest colors on the spectrum: blue and red. Given the difficulty scientists have had determining how to cure or prevent Alzheimer’s disease as well as the emotional dualities it can cause, purple is a most profound choice for the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. And you will see a lot of it in June as people across the country observe Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month.

Presently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the US, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased 71 percent while deaths from other major causes have decreased over the last decade. Every 66 seconds someone in the US develops the disease and researchers have estimated that 900,000 people age 65 or older with Alzheimer’s will die in 2030. One in nine people over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease, making up 5.2 million of the 5.4 million Americans who currently struggle with it.

It is generally agreed that Alzheimer’s disease starts in the hippocampus area of the brain, which is the part responsible for developing memories. As neurons die and additional sections are affected, the brain tissue shrinks and the more shrinkage, the more severe the symptoms. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, which is a general term for a group of symptoms that affect mental functions seriously enough to interfere with daily life. Age, family history, and genetics all play a role in whether a person develops Alzheimer’s. While those are factors that can’t be influenced, some studies have suggested that physical activity, staying mentally active, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding serious head injuries (by wearing seatbelts, helmets, etc.) can reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

As Alzheimer’s progresses, it effects body functions to the point that the person needs health care. For example, the disease can cause some people to lose the ability to walk while others have difficulty swallowing or can no longer effectively communicate. These complications can lead to bigger medical issues. A person who can’t walk is prone to developing bedsores. Someone who can’t easily swallow might develop aspiration pneumonia. Being unable to communicate means symptoms of health problems like infections can turn deadly before they are detected.

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s requires many families to consider nursing home placement. There are approximately 261 memory care partner communities in Georgia, with an average monthly cost of $4,342. If you find yourself faced with this difficult decision, research the options and don’t be afraid to ask questions about topics such as licensing, cost, staff requirements, facility layout, social activities, medication policies, or privacy issues. Note that a safe facility will have a supervision plan in place because many Alzheimer’s patients are prone to wandering. Not all homes are created equal, with some offering basic care while others are better equipped for dealing with advanced stages of the disease. More information is available at the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Center on Caregiving (NCC), the National Institute on Aging, and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

If you have any questions about this topic, or if you entrusted a loved one suffering with Alzheimer’s disease to a long-term care facility and you now suspect the patient has suffered an injury or a decline in their condition due to the care they received, contact the attorneys of the Mann Law Firm. We have over 50 years of experience helping people and we can help you. Based in Macon, we have been the trusted advocates for countless victims and their families throughout Georgia. Contact us to discuss your unique situation by calling 1-855-507-7598 or by filling out our online form.