Alzheimer’s Disease can be a scary and confusing fate for many elderly people in America. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about the disease. In this article, we will explore some of the common myths about Alzheimer’s disease and explain why they are false.
You Have to be Old to Get Alzheimer’s
Although rare, people can develop Alzheimer’s disease as early as their 30’s. This is known as early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Over 200,000 people have been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. For more information on early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease, click here.
Flu Shots Increase the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
This is false. This theory was hypothesized by a doctor whose license was suspended by the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners. There have been a large number of mainstream studies that have found the opposite. In fact, flu shots have been linked to reducing the risks of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Aluminum Causes Alzheimer’s Disease
This myth has been around since the 1960s. According to this myth, aluminum pots, pans, cans, and deodorants could potentially cause Alzheimer’s disease. There have been a plethora of studies that could not confirm a connection between aluminum and the disease. Since then, areas of study have moved away from testing this theory.
Artificial Sweeteners Cause Alzheimer’s
Some people believe that artificial sweeteners like aspartame can cause Alzheimer’s disease. The FDA has not received any evidence of this; through well over 100 studies and trials.
Memory Loss is a Natural Part Of Aging
While people may experience occasional memory loss, such as forgetfulness. But, Alzheimer’s is more than just forgetting. It causes the brain to stop functioning normally. This causes those affected to forget key memories or whole years of their lives. It can be difficult to tell normal forgetfulness from Alzheimer’s disease. If you believe your loved one may be experiencing the early stages of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, contact their primary care physician to schedule an appointment for a consultation.
You Can’t File an Estate Plan With Alzheimer’s Disease
You can actually file for an estate plan if you are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. The truth is that when you are first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you will still have the cognitive ability to produce the documents properly. One who is experiencing only the earliest stages of the disease can more fully understand the meaning and importance of the given documents, and therefore has the legal capacity to sign them.
As the disease advances, you will probably lose cognitive recognition of what these documents can mean, as well as their consequences. Because of this, you may not be of the capacity to fully understand what you are signing as the disease progresses. If you or your loved one are showing signs of cognitive regression, it is important to meet with an estate attorney to establish and review these documents as soon as possible.
It may be important to establish loved ones (usually spouses, siblings, or children) as your healthcare proxy and/or executor. This allows them to make decisions for you in medical or legal capacities, respectively.
You Need to go to an Alzheimer’s Care Facility
While there are many reputable facilities that specialize in Alzheimer’s care, you don’t necessarily need to move your loved one into one as soon as they are diagnosed. Many elderly individuals live with this disease, and remain in their homes for the majority of their diagnosis. Changing the living situation of someone with Alzheimer’s can be incredibly confusing. However, establishing proper care for your loved one is important. You should consider all of the options available to your loved one. This may include hiring in-home care. A home health aide or in-home nurse can help your loved one continue to live in their own home as their condition progresses.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical, healthcare, or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has been providing excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help the elderly and disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact us by clicking here, or call (718)-979-6900.