Aging is a natural part of life, and the global population of the elderly is growing as medical care and standards of living improve. Elderly Americans are becoming an increasingly large percentage of the general population, and they will need care as they grow older. Americans are not alone in this; many developed nations are seeing a growth of their elderly population. Japan in particular has a large senior population that is rapidly growing due to that nation’s advanced medical services and very high life expectancy (the highest, in fact). Many older Americans may start experiencing chronic mental or physical conditions as they age, and many certain ailments can be expected once a person turns 65. But an elderly American can get help if need be. In some cases, assisted living is a strong option, and for more advanced Alzheimer’s care, for example, senior memory care communities can be used. What is there to know about senior memory care communities or other memory care options?
Alzheimers and Americans
A number of statistics have been gathered to keep track of the health of aging Americans. Often, the numbers show that once a person reaches age 65 and over, they may expect a number of familiar ailments. Physical problems such as arthritis, or inflammation of the joints, or weakening of the bones are typical. For the brain, dementia is unfortunately common for aging Americans, with elderly women in particular suffering from this condition. In rares cases, early onset Alzheimner’s affects those under 65, but it is generally the elderly who face this condition. Today, nearly five million Americans, most of them over 65, have Alzheimer’s, and it accounts for nearly 80% of all dementia diagnoses today. Nearly 70% of elderly Americans need long term care at some point, and this can certainly include dementia.
Alzheimer’s cannot be prevented or cured, but its effects may be slowed down somewhat with some proven methods. Even natural methods that don’t involve drugs or surgery have proven effective for many Alzheimer’s patients. A strong social life and companionship can keep the patient happier and slow down Alzheimer’s progress, and the same is true for other mental exercise such as doing jigsaw puzzles. Mental stimulation, in short, can make Alzheimer’s more manageable, even if no proper cure exists. An elderly dementia patient may expect to move to senior memory care communities in more serious cases, or assisted living for more mild cases.
For more serious Alzheimer’s cases, a senior citizen may need constant access to professional medical care, especially if they are dealing with another chronic condition at the same time. In this case, a patient’s younger family members may choose to relocate them to senior memory care communities, where around-the-clock medical assistance is available. At senior memory care communities, a senior citizen with dementia may enjoy a strong social life with the other patients there, and any medical emergency can be handled at any time. Family members may also pay their relative visits sometimes.
For earlier-stage Alzheimer’s cases, assisted living may suffice. This describes how the patient will continue to live in their personal residence, such as a condo or apartment or house. Medical professionals and helpful family members may visit daily or even live at the residence, and they can help out in all sorts of ways. Medical professionals can perform regular checkups and provide medicine, and others can help the patient with everyday life. They may help with grocery shopping, household chores, caring for pets or a garden, minor house maintenance, and anything else that is needed.
Dementia causes memory loss as well as physical clumsiness, so some safe precautions must be taken. For one thing, tripping hazards such as rugs and electrical cords should be cleared away, and sharp or flame-producing items should be locked away. The house’s furniture and items should be arranged neatly and consistently, too. And if the patient goes outside for their own errands or walks, he or she should carry photo ID with their name, address, and emergency contact information if they get lost or hurt. This allows anyone who find them to escort them back home or at least get on the phone with the patient’s caretaker if need be.