Though the majority of people who live with Alzheimers disease are over the age of 65, there is a growing population of individuals who may receive a diagnosis before this age. But what is early-onset Alzheimers disease and what does it mean if I am diagnosed?
Here are some facts and statistics regarding early-onset Alzheimers and how to recognize when assisted living may become necessary.
Early-onset Alzheimers: What is it?
Early-onset Alzhiemers disease is a form of dementia that occurs in people under the age of 65. These individuals experience all the symptoms and struggles associated with the disease in middle-age, but before the common age where diagnoses are made. This includes memory lapses both in the short and long-term, confusion, emotional changes, difficulty problem-solving, vision loss, uncertainty, and more. Early-onset diagnoses are typically made when a person is in their 40s or 50s.
It’s also referred to as familial Alzheimers disease, meaning that it’s more common when you have a relative who has also suffered from the disease, particularly a direct parent or grandparent.
How common is early-onset Alzheimers?
Though early-onset Alzheimers is fairly uncommon, nearly 200,000 people suffer from early-onset Alzheimers throughout the United States, making up nearly 5% of people who have Alzheimers disease across the nation.
When should I get tested for Alzheimers disease?
Getting tested for early-onset Alzheimers has some benefits and drawbacks. If you have a parent or grandparent that had or has Alzheimers, it might be beneficial when it comes to life planning and memory care. Relying on assisted living communities through senior community living services to receive dementia care may help slow the degenerative nature of the disease, particularly if it’s caught in its early stages.
However, early-onset Alzheimers disease can be difficult to diagnose. This is often because many symptoms of Alzheimers also correlate with other stressful life events that occur at this time, mainly children moving out, divorce, and other major life changes. A false diagnosis can be detrimental to the well-being of a person while an inaccurate bill of health might cause more damage in the end.
If you’re worried about early-onset Alzhiemers, the best thing you can do is explore your options. Get multiple tests performed by different doctors to ensure you’re getting a second, or even a third, opinion. When you want the best dementia care available, rely on the senior community living facilities you can trust. At Heritage Hills, our senior community living spaces are designed to make you feel comfortable and welcome. Contact us today for more information.