So you’re worried that you or a loved one may be showing the beginning signs of Alzheimer’s. You hop online to compare your symptoms against what “Dr. Google” says and you end up convinced that you not only have Alzheimer’s but that your brain is also being eaten by some rare type of amoeba. Don’t make this common, stress-inducing mistake.
It is normal to experience some memory loss with age. In some cases, memory loss may be due to dementia or Alzheimer’s, and in some cases, it may not be. It is estimated that the number of people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia will reach over 12 million by the year 2050.
If you or a loved one end up with this condition, know that you are not alone. Elder Care Alliance wants to clear up some pervasive myths about Alzheimers so you can stop worrying so much and start learning how to live your life to the fullest despite memory loss.
Myth #1: All Noticeable Memory Loss Is a Sign of Alzheimer’s
Memory loss in an older adult does not necessarily mean they have Alzheimer’s disease. While it is true that Alzheimer’s is the most common culprit behind dementia, there are other reasons for memory loss. Memory loss is only one component used to diagnose dementia and other memory problems.
Myth #2: Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Are the Same
It is pretty common to think Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are the same things, but they aren’t. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. But there are other forms of dementia, as well.
Besides Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia include frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia and vascular dementia. A qualified medical professional can diagnose the specific type of dementia you or a loved one have.
Myth #3: If My Parent Gets Dementia, I Will, Too
Another one of the popular myths of Alzheimers is that you’ll get it if one of your parents had it. There is a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease if a close relative has it. But that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to develop it. There is still a lot that we don’t know about Alzheimer’s disease and what causes it. It’s a complex condition that usually involves a lot of different risk factors beyond simple genetics.
If you have a family history of dementia or memory loss, there are things you can do to minimize your likelihood of developing the condition. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and avoiding excessive exposure to pollutants are all recommended for avoiding Alzheimer’s and other unwanted health conditions.
Myth #5: Aspartame Consumption Leads to Memory Loss
It’s natural to want to blame memory loss on a single culprit. Recently, aspartame has faced intense speculation about its potential role in memory loss. But there is no scientific evidence to show that aspartame consumption can cause Alzheimer’s or any other form of memory loss.
Myth #4: Alzheimer’s Disease Is Not Fatal
This is one of the myths of Alzheimers, but the fact is that Alzheimer’s disease leaves no survivors in its wake. It slowly causes memory changes and impacts body functions and behaviors until the end of the impacted person’s life. But that doesn’t mean people with Alzheimer’s can’t still live fulfilling and happy lives. It’s important to help loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease live as comfortably as possible. Elder Care Alliance offers engagement-focused memory care programs to help people with dementia connect, learn and live meaningful lives.