Independent Life
Las Vegas
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Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect a staggering number of seniors in the United States. Alzheimer’s is the fifth most common cause of death for persons over age 65 in this country out of the top 10 leading causes of death, it is the only one without a cure, a way to prevent it, or a way to yield progression. It affects one in eight people age 65 or older, and nearly half of the population over age 85.

With such a large number of our population affected by these ailments, caregivers and family members naturally have questions. Below are answers to common questions you may have about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

1. Is there a difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

While these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between them. Dementia is a broader term which describes over 100 different conditions which occur when the brain’s nerve cells are not functioning as they should. Dementia can be caused by strokes, known as vascular dementia. Changes in behavior, judgement, and memory, along with the capability to plan and finish activities are symptoms of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia; the most common type, in fact. It accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of dementia cases. Brain changes resulting from the disease will go on to affect bodily functions, including movement.

Some professionals believe that as many as 45 percent of dementias are a mixed type, as in the patient is affected by Alzheimer’s disease in addition to another form of dementia. Other forms of dementia include Frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Lewy Body dementia.

2. Can I be tested for Alzheimer’s disease?

There is no test which can tell you for sure whether you have Alzheimer’s but diagnosing probable Alzheimer’s disease can be done with about 90 percent accuracy using neuropsychological and cognitive testing to rule out other factors contributing to memory loss. Newer research has shown that amyloid plaques may play a role in Alzheimer’s disease; a new form of PET scan can be done to show if these plaques exist, but many people who have the plaques present never develop Alzheimer’s disease, leading to a high false positive rate for this test.

3. Why is early diagnosis so critical?

While Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, early diagnosis offers more benefits to the patient. Cognitive decline should be evaluated right away. Benefits of early diagnosis include:

  • The option to join a clinical trial
  • Treatments for certain forms of cognitive decline such as depression or vitamin B12 deficiencies
  • Early medical and therapeutic approaches can be used sooner to manage symptoms
  • Spreads awareness to caregivers and treatment professionals who can begin procuring supportive services for the patient, as well as allows the patient to plan for their future
  • Can increase awareness regarding combinations of medications which worsen symptoms
  • Alerts caregivers that the patient may begin requiring assistance to perform daily tasks like cooking, running errands, and managing their medications

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  • When selecting a home care agency to work with your loved one, it is important that your family be comfortable with their caregiver. Independent Life Home Care does an excellent job matching clients to caregivers to ensure a successful working relationship. When we chose them for our mother’s dementia care, we were really impressed with the fit!

    Posted by Thomas Woodrow

    October 20, 2017

  • Over the years, I’ve found that some things have become more difficult than they used to be! What’s great about working with Independent Life is that I can adjust my home care services as needed, they always have a caregiver available to help me.

    Posted by William Jacobsen

    October 20, 2017

  • My mother always loved chatting with her caregiver from Independent Life. She was a little uneasy at first about having someone come into her home, but quickly grew to enjoy the companionship and professionalism. Independent Life’s caregivers are really top notch!

    Posted by Lucy Wellington

    October 20, 2017

  • I’d definitely recommend Independent Life Home Care to anyone in the Las Vegas area who is in need of home health services for themselves or their loved ones. Independent Life’s caregivers are a joy to work with, and their 24-hour care services have always exceeded my high standards.

    Posted by Bruce Long

    October 20, 2017

  • After being admitted to the hospital for so long, I just didn’t feel ready to be on my own yet. Independent Life connected me with caregivers who provided the home care I needed to manage my recovery and keep my house in order. I welcomed having someone to chat with regularly, and felt safer knowing someone was there when I was not yet back to my best self. I’d certainly recommend their home care services to anyone facing a lengthy recovery.

    Posted by Annabeth Lee Schulz

    October 20, 2017

  • Dad really struggled to stay active after Mom passed, I think he felt a bit burdened by all he had to do. His caregiver stepped in to assist with household chores and to help him with his needs, and I think that made quite a difference in improving his quality of life. That companionship and mental stimulation seemed to help him carry on, doing the things he loved.

    Posted by Andrea Blankenhorn

    October 20, 2017

  • I’ve always been independent, but I’m a realist as well. I recognized I was having trouble with certain things, so I got to work searching for a solution which would help me stay healthy, happy, and in the Las Vegas home I love. I contracted senior care services with Independent Life Home Care, and was able to choose the services I need. It’s great having someone to help me with the tasks that have become difficult, and I also welcome the conversation and company of my caregiver each week.

    Posted by Jolene Clark

    October 20, 2017

  • When my mom was sick, it was helpful to have a caregiver available to come in and assist me with the day to day housekeeping as well as provide home health assistance. I really feel that Independent Life Home Care made that time much more manageable for our family.

    Posted by Lydia Ekles

    October 20, 2017

  • If you are caring for a loved one at home, don’t forget that you need time to care for yourself, too! Respite care is a must so that you can take care of your needs. I trust Independent Life to care for my son when I have important appointments to attend, and when I need time to recharge.

    Posted by Dave Ellettson

    October 20, 2017

  • I cannot thank Independent Life Home Care enough for the compassionate hospice care they provided during my husband’s final days. It was a tremendous comfort to have someone dependable to rely on so that I could spend those last moments with him.

    Posted by Ellen Sampson

    October 20, 2017

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