The memory loss and personality changes brought on by Alzheimer’s disease have been described as “the long goodbye” until death. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible disease with no known cure. It slowly steals the victim’s mind, leaving behind worn-out family members and caregivers. To the extent that this disease can be slowed or even avoided it is certainly worth making the effort. If you are over the age of 50, at which early onset Alzheimer’s can begin, or have loved ones at that age or older, you may want to read this blog post. I can’t advise on how you can personally avoid the disease but I can provide a few suggestions on how not to increase your risk.
Many elderly people – as high as 30 percent – die with or from Alzheimer’s disease, the leading form of dementia. (Some 60-80 percent of dementia cases are diagnosed as Alzheimer’s.) But first, a conclusion from the Mayo Clinic which looks funny when examined out of the context of the whole article:
“Increasing age is the greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.”
So, for those of you who have already missed the chance to die young and beautiful I have some suggestions. Keep reading.
The Quality of an Aging Life
It’s not just death itself that we fear, but our declining health as we age. Will we suffer for years with some dreaded illness or stay reasonably healthy, and pass away peacefully in our sleep at a ripe old age? Most of us don’t even want to think about it until we reach an age that is starting to come closer to our statistical life expectancy, by which time whatever health damage we are causing may already have been done.
Watching my late mother go through “the long goodbye” with Alzheimer’s encouraged me to research the issue. In this post I report some of my findings, and suggest what we can do to avoid or at least delay this obviously unpleasant way to go.Continue reading “Slowing or Avoiding “The Long Goodbye” of Alzheimer’s”