Did You Know? Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Although Alzheimer’s affects approximately 1 in every 2 families in the U.S., and has been extensively covered in the media, there is still quite a bit of information about Alzheimer’s that you might not be aware of.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s; today, the number of people with the disease has soared to nearly 5.4 million.

If your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s, it is important to seek help. Home health can be an important resource, with skilled nurses who can help educate and support the family on the disease process. Nurses can also monitor the patient’s health, provide medication management, and various other medical services in the comfort of home. Multiple types of therapy, such as physical therapy and speech, can accompany nursing services to maintain the patient’s strength and also aid with memory and cognition exercises. Talk to your doctor about referring you or your loved one to home health services.

For more information on this disease you can visit www.alz.org or call 1-800-272-3900 for the Alzheimer’s Association.The Alzheimer’s Association offers a help line and support services to people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Local chapters across the country offer support groups, including many that help with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Call or go online to find out where you can get help in your area.

The Association also funds Alzheimer’s research.

– Amy Porter, Physician Liaison