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Things You Might Not Know About Alzheimer’s

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or you think he or she is at risk for the condition, your first instinct may be to research it as much as possible. Once you have learned about how Alzheimer’s affects memory and behavior, you might want to find out lesser-known information about its risks and causes. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care Chandler families trust, wants to share some facts about Alzheimer’s you might not be aware of.

Alzheimer’s and the Sense of Smell Have Direct Links

In the future, doctors may be able to determine a person’s risk for Alzheimer’s by their sense of smell. According to the National Institutes of Health, the inability to identify certain odors can be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s. It is believed that brain cells linked to the sense of smell are among the first ones Alzheimer’s affects. It is important to remember smell can also be affected by other conditions, including:

  • Brain injury
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Sinus infection

It Affects More Women Than Men

Approximately 3.2 million women have the disease compared to 1.9 million men. Alzheimer’s also tends to progress more rapidly in women than men. By the time a woman reaches age 60, she has a 1:6 chance of developing Alzheimer’s compared to a 1:11 chance of developing breast cancer.

Hypertension Lowers the Risk of the Disease

A study conducted by the University of California suggests the effects of high blood pressure are not as simple as once believed. The study followed 625 participants in their 90s who were diagnosed with hypertension and found they were 55 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than individuals who had never had high blood pressure. It is not clear why the effects of hypertension sometimes change with age, and the study should not be construed as promoting high blood pressure among the elderly.

The majority of Alzheimer’s caregivers are women. Nearly 20 percent of family caregivers eventually give up their jobs to care for their loved one, and the amount of unpaid care provided annually by caregivers totals approximately $220 billion. Chandler at-home care agencies can be a valuable asset to seniors with Alzheimer’s by offering support to both them and their families.

You might also not be aware of a revolutionary program known as the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM). At Home Care Assistance, we developed this program to help seniors stave off Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. If your elderly loved one has Alzheimer’s, CTM can be included free of charge when establishing his or her care plan. In addition to comprehensive Alzheimer’s care, we also offer dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care Chandler seniors can rely on. For more information on CTM and our other senior care services and to schedule a no-obligation consultation, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 480.448.6215 today.