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What is Alzheimer's disease?
Alzheimer's is a slow, gradual disease that affects over 15 million elderly men and women worldwide. Lapses in memory are the first signs of the onset of Alzheimer's, with individuals usually having trouble remembering simple things like telephone numbers, recent events and even names. There are many treatments available, however the disease is not reversible.
What are the symptoms of Alzheimer's?
The most common symptoms include loss of memory, difficulty accomplishing everyday tasks, disorientation, misplacing items in odd locations, sudden change in mood or behavior for no apparent reason, personality changes, and loss of energy and drive. These symptoms often become severe, preventing normal functioning.
What are the stages of Alzheimer's?
At the onset of Alzheimer's there are no symptoms or tests that can detect the disease. The first sign may be mild forgetfulness. Eventually more symptoms are noticeable such as forgetting names, inability to plan or organize or frequently misplacing things. The symptoms increase in severity throughout the stages of Alzheimer's and include forgetting recent events, loved ones, and personal phone numbers leading to constant confusion, and the inability to care for one's self.
Can Alzheimer's be cured?
Sadly, no. There is no clinically proven cure or method of prevention. Research continues, and daily discoveries are being made about the disease and how to treat it.
What kind of treatments are available for Alzheimer's?
There are a number of drugs approved by the FDA to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer's. These drugs may slow down the process or improve memory, but cannot cure the disease.
How long does Alzheimer's disease last on average?
On average, patients with Alzheimer's disease live for 8 to 10 years after diagnosis. It can last as long as 20 years.
Is Alzheimer's covered by Medicare/Medicaid?
There are specific eligibility requirements in order for a person to receive assistance. Medicare may cover some of the services a person requires. Medicaid is administered by each state, so eligibility requirements vary. A person with Alzheimer's can qualify for long-term care only if he or she has minimal income and cash assets. Medicaid may be applied for by calling your state's Department of Human Services or Medicaid Assistance Program.