Coping with a loved one living with Alzheimer’s is often not what it seems. There are a lot of common misconceptions about Alzheimer’s and dementia in general. Here are a few of those myths, debunked:
Alzheimer’s and dementia are the same.
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe various forms of memory loss, difficulties in cognition, and a wide range of other symptoms. Alzheimer’s is only a form of dementia but is often misunderstood as dementia itself.
They can’t have Alzheimer’s if they remember certain things.
Contrary to popular belief, the early stages of Alzheimer’s affects one’s short term memory, not long term; so it’s not only common, but expected, that those diagnosed with it are still able to recollect a wide array of things, events, names and much more. Over time, it is possible that it affects long-term memories as well. Like every other person, Alzheimer’s patients also experience good days and bad days – at certain instances their memory may be strong and easily accessible, at others, it may be tough for them to remember details.
Alzheimer’s is a sign of aging.
This is yet another misconception about the understanding and progression of Alzheimer’s. While it is much more common amongst those 65 years and older, anyone as young as 30 can be diagnosed with what is known as “early-onset Alzheimer’s”, the most common age, however, is for people in their 50’s. Early-onset Alzheimer’s is a very rare form, only affecting about five percent of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Those coping with Alzheimer’s are unaware of its effects.
It’s easy to imagine that those who are coping with a diagnosis like Alzheimer’s are completely unaware of not only the symptoms but its effects on themselves and those around them. This is often not the case, however. Most people are able to recognize their changes in memory pattern, especially when it comes to tasks they have always been able to complete or memories previously simple to recollect. They can be completely capable of self-awareness despite their symptoms.
There’s no hope.
People often feel hopeless when they hear a medical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, whether it is for them or a loved one. It is important to know though, that a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, regardless of age, is not a hopeless situation. More than anything, familial support and proper memory care from capable facilities are the best ways to help those with the disease cope. Looking for the right memory care especially in an area as large as San Diego can seem like a daunting task, but finding a facility that not only understands but continually debunks these myths in their daily operations lets you know you’ve found the right support for your loved one.