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We Wear Purple for Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month
More than 6 million people are living with Alzheimer’s or dementia-related diseases and an estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2021 according to Alzheimer’s Association. This staggering number is only growing, and by 2050 it is projected to nearly triple to over 13 million. Along with Alzheimer’s, one in three seniors passes away from some form of dementia, a term used to describe a decline in mental ability enough to interfere with activities of daily living.
Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month happens to occur each year in the month of June. The sad reality is that Alzheimer’s cannot be cured, slowed, or prevented. Your brain is at risk. Knowing and understanding Alzheimer’s is important for everyone and awareness is the first step. This is important because many people living with this disease may not even know it. It is also necessary to know the different levels associated with this aging disease because although no one is ever mentally prepared to take on this battle, Alzheimer’s does progress. And during its progression, you will want to recognize or understand in some manner each stage so you can be prepared for when it’s time and where to receive help.
The Walk to End ALZ
At North Star Senior Advisors, our goal is to GO PURPLE this month to support those affected by Alzheimer’s, meaning we pledge to wear purple to raise awareness for brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. This year, The Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place Saturday, October 23rd, 2021 in the Greater Orlando area. Details are TBA as health and wellness are their utmost priority. Click here to register today!
The walk helps raise money for support, research, and anything that helps the individuals living with Dementia. Raising awareness is key to not only increase dementia’s perception but help educate those less informed and provide assistance to those in need. It is a tough job to care for a loved one diagnosed with any form of dementia.
- Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by “plaques” between the dying cells in the brain and “tangles” within the cells (both are due to protein abnormalities). The brain tissue in a person with Alzheimer’s has progressively fewer nerve cells and connections, and the total brain size shrinks.
- Dementia with Lewy bodies is a neurodegenerative condition linked to abnormal structures in the brain.
- Mixed dementia refers to a diagnosis of two or three types occurring together. For instance, a person may show both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia at the same time.
- Parkinson’s disease is also marked by the presence of Lewy bodies. Although Parkinson’s is often considered a disorder of movement, it can also lead to dementia symptoms.
- Huntington’s disease is characterized by specific types of uncontrolled movements but also includes dementia.
Changes in personality and behavior
Brain changes that occur in Dementia or Alzheimer’s can affect moods and behaviors. Problems may include the following:
- Social withdrawal
- Mood swings
- Distrust in others
- Irritability and aggressiveness
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Wandering, also known as exit-seeking
- Delusions, such as believing something has been stolen
- Sometimes physical aggression
Memory Care is a specialized assisted living facility that has trained staff to care for those with memory impairments. Typically, a person with Alzheimer’s or another type of Dementia needs help with activities of daily living, constant supervision, and a secured environment with other residents with a similar diagnosis. Memory Care communities typically have 24-hour awake staff for those residents who are up at night, specially designed units, or what some communities call neighborhoods that are easy for residents to navigate as well as specialized activities that help with cognitive abilities and oftentimes helps delay the disease progression.
In Central Florida, there are many communities that range from small to large environments. In the state of Florida, there are different license types that are regulated to care for your loved one based on their level of care. If your loved one has anxiety or agitation, then maybe a large environment is too much for them and you can consider smaller licensed memory care homes with a limited number of residents. We know of several facilities in the area and can walk you through the benefits of a small environment versus a large facility and vice versa.
Before you begin your search on your own, there are several things you should familiarize yourself with:
- Budget: The average cost of Memory Care begins at $4500 per month.
- Level of Care: Know the help your loved one may need because that will determine which license type to consider.
- Activities of Daily Living: Bathing, Dressing, Toileting, Medication Management, etc.
- Cognitive Activities: Scheduled activities to include music, art, pet therapy, social interaction with other residents
- Secured Environment: Is the facility secured and is there a camera in the main area
Unlike before, Dementia Care or Memory Care facility settings are decorated to look more like a home rather than an institution. Staff often wear regular clothes instead of nursing scrubs, some newer communities decorated their interior to look like a town so residents feel as if they are enjoying the outdoors. There are so many neat gadgets and amenities for seniors to participate in no matter what stage of the disease they are in.
Senior Advisors for Memory Care Placement
Finding the perfect Memory Care Facility and navigating through your loved one’s Dementia journey can be hard but it doesn’t have to be, even during this pandemic. North Star Senior Advisors will work as your advocate, educate and guide you to Dementia resources, narrow down search options, save you time by eliminating inappropriate communities, and also find a memory care community within your budget. We are not biased! We give you options. You choose the community that you feel your loved one will feel most at home.
As a senior advisor, we truly aim to understand your loved ones’ needs to provide the utmost, tailored care in locating the perfect home. We can guide you to the perfect new home whether it is a memory care community or an assisted living facility specialized to help those living with memory impairments. So will you join us in pledging to wear purple for Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month?
Give us a call to speak with a Senior Living Advisor today at 407-796-1582 or visit www.northstarsa.com. Our services are completely free for you.