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Alzheimer's & Memory Support

Alzheimer's awareness is growing steadily, and with that is an increased focus on our friends and family members who live with this disease. With ongoing medical advances, our senior population is living longer, resulting in a growing number of individuals with Alzheimer's and dementia. According to the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, with a new person developing the disease every 66 seconds. Today, more than 5 million American's are living with Alzheimer's disease, and the numbers are climbing. This growing population demonstrates the ongoing need for specialized memory support in a compassionate setting.

An Overview of Alzheimer's and Dementia

Although "Alzheimer's" and "dementia" seem to be used interchangeably, they are different. Dementia is not a disease, but the manifestation of symptoms such as memory loss, struggling with language and impaired reasoning. Alzheimer's is a specific disease within the dementia family of conditions. Dementia symptoms result from the death of neurons, or brain cells. The causes of dementia vary from severe vitamin deficiency to genetics, depending on the type. Dementia tends to affect one area of the brain at a time, commonly starting with the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning, making memory lapses or forgetfulness the first noticeable symptoms of dementia.

Whether Alzheimer's or dementia is to blame, loved ones with advanced memory conditions express similar symptoms. They tend to react strangely to normal situations; they become increasingly forgetful and struggle with abstract thoughts. Common results of progressed brain cell death include social disorientation and issues with speech and writing. As connections in the brain die off, seniors struggle to connect at a personal level. Seniors with Alzheimer's or dementia feel uncomfortable when they struggle for words or forget who they are talking to, causing them to be less expressive and avoid social situations.

The changes arising from advanced stages of dementia can make caregiving very difficult and emotionally draining. When families are no longer able to support their loved one's needs or home may no longer be a good fit, they should investigate memory support options in their community. Try to choose a facility or campus that provides memory care throughout the stages of dementia to reduce environmental changes or disruption to loved ones' daily life. A few characteristics of quality memory care services include organizing frequent mentally- and physically-stimulating activities, facilitating meaningful opportunities to contribute, maintaining secure environments, arranging speech therapy services and engaging personalized attention.

Heritage Health provides specialized care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. Learn more about our Legacy Care division as well as other services designed to provide the care your loved one needs and deserves.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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Heritage Operations Group is proud to provide the senior population in Illinois with rehabilitative therapy services, skilled nursing care, specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care, assisted and supportive living, independent living and pharmacy services.


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