What Assisted Living Residents Need To Know If They Want To Live Past 60
Every 70 seconds a senior is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. If you intend to live past the age of 60 you need to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, especially since there is no cure. Today it is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. Our brains change as we age just as the rest of our organs do. Most of us notice some slowed thinking and occasional problems with remembering certain things. However, serious memory loss, confusion and other major changes in the way our minds work are not a normal part of aging. These may be signs that your brain cells are failing. September 21st was World Alzheimer’s Day, when the Alzheimer’s Association joined with organizations and people around the globe to raise awareness about the disease and its impact on families. Today, 35 million people worldwide are affected by Alzheimer’s as well as related forms of dementia and assisted living facilities have realized that this number is rapidly growing. Assisted living facilities are educating seniors about the deadly disease so they are aware of the signs, symptoms and possible precautionary methods.
World Alzheimer’s Day is an opportunity to raise donations and awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. There is a need for more education, support and research on this disease. As a citizen of society you can participate by joining one of the many World Alzheimer’s Day events within your community. Assisted Living Facilities celebrate this day by organizing fundraisers and events to help raise awareness. Memory Walk 2010 is a perfect example. Participants come together and walk in order to change the course of Alzheimer’s Disease. Memory Walk is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. Since 1989, Memory Walk has raised more than $300 million for the cause.
What Exactly Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
The human brain is your most unique and powerful organ, yet a healthy brain weighs only about three pounds. It has three main parts:
The Cerebrum fills up most of your skull. It is involved in remembering, problem solving, thinking, and feeling. It also controls movement.
The Cerebellum sits at the back of your head, under the cerebrum. It controls coordination and balance.
The Brain Stem sits beneath your cerebrum in front of your cerebellum. It connects the brain to the spinal cord and controls automatic functions such as breathing, digestion, heart rate and blood pressure.
The real work of your brain goes on in individual cells. An adult brain contains about 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, with branches that connect at more than 100 trillion points. Scientists call this dense, branching network a “neuron forest.” Signals traveling through the neuron forest form the basis of memories, thoughts and feelings. Neurons are the chief type of cell destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease. Signals that form memories and thoughts move through an individual nerve cell as a tiny electrical charge. Nerve cells connect to one another at synapses. When a charge reaches a synapse, it may trigger release of tiny bursts of chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters travel across the synapse, carrying signals to other cells. Scientists have identified dozens of neurotransmitters.
Alzheimer’s disease disrupts both the way electrical charges travel within cells and the activity of neurotransmitters. 100 billion nerve cells! 100 trillion synapses! Dozens of neurotransmitters! This “strength in numbers” provides your brain’s raw material. Over time, our experiences create patterns in signal type and strength. These patterns of activity explain how, at the cellular level, our brains code our thoughts, memories, skills and sense of who we are. Alzheimer’s disease leads to nerve cell death and tissue loss throughout the brain. Over time, the brain shrinks dramatically, affecting nearly all of its functions. Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and is fatal. Visit alz.org to find a Memory Walk event in your area or locate another volunteer opportunity to help end the disease.
800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care Houston, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Facilities and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.
About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.