World Alzheimer’s Day
World Alzheimer’s Day is observed on September 21st every year to create awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The most common form of dementia, it is a group of brain disorders that lead to diminished intellectual and social skills. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory; eventually, incapacitating people from performing the simplest tasks. People start repeating statements and questions frequently, they forget conversations, dates, names and also objects of daily use like keys, glasses, etc. It primarily affects people in their 60s. It must be noted that these symptoms are not a normal part of aging.
The disease is named after Dr Alois Alzheimer. In 1906 he noticed some changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness; her symptoms included memory loss, language problems and unpredictable behavior.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States; it cannot be prevented and cured.
- Nearly half of adults aged 80 and more have Alzheimer’s disease.
- More women than men get this disease.
- Sometimes, the disease may even start in people aged 30.
- Every 68 seconds, someone around the world develops Alzheimer’s disease.
A person with Alzheimer’s disease becomes frustrated while struggling to perform simple tasks. Here are some simple tips to make life easier:
- Physical exercise, proper nutrition, good general health and socializing are important.
- Plan a schedule for all the daily activities, such as eating, walking, taking medicines… This will help the patient become familiar with the daily routine.
- As simple tasks take longer, persons with Alzheimer’s disease should have frequent breaks. Don’t hurry them.
- Allow them to do as much as possible with the least help. For example, they might be able to set the table with the help of visual cues or dress on their own if you lay out the clothes in order.
- Keep them busy, guide them gently and slowly, explaining each and every step of the activity.
- Label everything, so that it is easier for him/her to search for things.
Keeping Alzheimer’s at Bay
While there is no proven way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, some general measures can be taken to reduce the risk. The 6 pillars to prevent Alzheimer’s are:
- Regular exercise
- Healthy diet
- Mental stimulation
- Quality sleep
- Stress management
- Active social life
These 6 pillars help the brain stay stronger and last longer.