The Women's Health Resource Center
With the aging of America's population, we are seeing increasing numbers of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, a degenerative brain disease. Just 3% of men and women aged 65-70 have Alzheimer's Disease, but nearly half of those age 85 and over may be effected. It is more common in women than in men, and the prevalence doubles every five years after age 65. However, Alzheimer's Disease is not a normal part of aging.
In patients with Alzheimer's, nerve cell changes in certain parts of the brain result in the death of a large number of cells vital to memory and other mental abilities. Gradually, Alzheimer's affects language, thinking, behavior and the ability to care for oneself. Alzheimer's can now be diagnosed with 90% accuracy utilizing diagnostic tests that may include computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging or positron emission tomography scans.
Caring for a person with Alzheimer's can have a tremendous impact emotionally, physically and financially on the lives of family members. Many resources are available to assist families in handling the responsibility. These include the patient's health care provider, support groups, clergy, and care facilities specializing in Alzheimer's patients like—-the Irene Swindells Alzheimer's Residential Care Program at California Pacific Medical Center.
- Learn more about our Brain Health Center
- Learn more about our Irene Swindells Alzheimer's Unit
- Learn more about our Irene Swindells Adult Day Program
What you can do…
- Know your risk factors. Age and a family history of dementia are the greatest risk factors.
- Engage in activities that stimulate the body and mind.
- If you think you are experiencing memory loss, see your health care provider to determine why. NOT all memory loss is due to Alzheimer's Disease.
- If you are a family member of a Alzheimer's patient, recognize that you may need support too. Talk with your health care provider or clergy member about your needs, join a support group and find our about respite care.