Did you know that June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month? The goal is to raise awareness across the globe for the 50 million people who are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. It’s a topic that is especially relevant to older adults, as there are an estimated 5.5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, many of whom are age 65 or older.
At Abbey Delray, Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month is an important event for our team and our residents. We encourage our residents to take part in the activities we planned, all of which are designed to promote brain health and provide education on Alzheimer’s.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is a disease that attacks the brain, breaking down memory and thinking skills until even the simplest everyday tasks are nearly impossible to complete on our own. Without the full capacity to think, remember and reason, independent living becomes a challenge, and people with Alzheimer’s often rely on a caregiver or a memory care community to help them perform the basic activities of daily living.
Common signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Researchers have spent years studying the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and there are still aspects of the disease that are a mystery to them. Signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s can begin to appear as early as a person’s 30s. Memory problems are generally the first sign, but there are also non-memory aspects of your cognition that can begin to decline. Word-finding, vision and spatial issues, and even impaired reasoning or judgment are among the most common warning signs during the very early stages of Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s generally progresses in stages, from preclinical to mild to moderate to severe. Whereas the symptoms of a mild case of Alzheimer’s disease can be as simple as losing things or misplacing them in odd places, the severe stage of Alzheimer’s can see a person experience unhealthy weight loss, lose the ability to communicate and even suffer seizures.
It’s when a person showing signs of Alzheimer’s becomes a danger to themselves that you must consider whether independent living is still a viable option for their health and well-being.
Research to end Alzheimer’s
While there may be much that science is still learning about Alzheimer’s, it’s not for lack of trying. The Alzheimer’s Association has made it its mission to connect scientists across the globe, raising funds for and investing in groundbreaking research to help change the trajectory of the disease. Not only are their efforts focused on reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, but research is being done to determine how best to support caregivers and improve quality of life for people living with the disease.
One example of their research efforts is the U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk, which is a two-year clinical trial currently underway evaluating whether there are lifestyle interventions that can reduce risk factors and protect cognitive function in older adults. The results of this study have the potential to inform the standards of clinical care and prescriptive practices.
Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month activities at Abbey Delray
Residents across all levels of care at Abbey Delray will be invited to attend three lectures during the month of June, all of which will be focused on the topics of memory and brain health. There will also be a presenter who specializes in “brain entertainment” to keep the mind sharp.
The Alzheimer’s Association also recognizes June 20 as The Longest Day. Because June 20 is the summer solstice and is the day of the year with the most light, the organization uses that date as a platform to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s and raise awareness. At Abbey Delray, The Longest Day will feature a special brunch menu for residents to commemorate both Alzheimer’s awareness and celebrate Father’s Day, and there will also be an ice cream social the following day.
Abbey Delray is also a regular participant in the Delray/Boca Alzheimer’s Walk. Our communities all work together and fundraise before participating in the walk as a team.
If you’d like more information on our senior living community and the memory care support we can provide, we’d love to chat! Fill out the form below or give us a call at 561-454-200.