If Someone in my family has had Alzheimer’s, will I have it, too?

If someone in my family has had Alzheimer’s, will I have it, too?

Sharon’s story

middle-aged blond woman wearing glassesI forgot to pay the rent for 2 months and recently lost my glasses. Sometimes, I can’t come up with the right word when talking with others. I could tell my husband was starting to worry, and so was I.

I decided it was time to see my doctor. Some of my relatives have had Alzheimer’s disease. My father started having memory problems when he was in his 60s. I’m in my 60s now.

The doctor asked me about my health and my family’s health history. He said that many things, like depression or a bad reaction to medicine, can cause memory problems. He ordered some tests to help rule out Alzheimer’s disease.

Many people worry about developing Alzheimer’s disease, especially if a family member has had it.

Having a family history of the disease does not mean for sure that you’ll have it, too. But, it may mean you are more likely to develop it.

Late-onset Alzheimer’s

No one can yet predict if you will develop late-onset Alzheimer’s, even if it runs in your family. Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease has been linked to APOE ɛ4. But, having this gene form does not always mean a person will develop the disease.

Early-onset Alzheimer’s

Familial Alzheimer’s disease, or FAD—the most common type of early-onset Alzheimer’s—is inherited. If a parent has a gene for FAD, there is a 50/50 chance that a child will inherit the gene. If the gene is passed down, the child will usually—but not always—have FAD. Doctors and scientists don’t yet know if other types of early-onset Alzheimer’s can be passed down.

Publication Date: August 2016
Page Last Updated: September 27, 2016

From the US department of heath and human services

Assess Your Loved One



Signs Your Loved One Needs Help

Families and children of seniors may have a difficult time determining if their parents need additional help. Elders may be reluctant to share their daily struggles with their children and/or families because they are embarrassed or feel they may be a burden. In other cases, seniors may not even realize they are struggling. If a parent or loved one is suffering from dementia or depression, they may be overlooking important business matters or fall prey to financial scams.

If you are concerned that a loved one may be having issues, but you know they are not ready to move into a care facility, you may wish to consider using the respected services of a Senior’s Choice member in your area.

Children of senior parents and who suspect they could use some additional help should keep a look out for the following signs:

The next time you are visiting with parents, observe the condition of their home. While casual clutter may be a sign of a perfectly happy home, dust and dirt may signal a bigger problem. Dusty areas may mean cleaning is a challenge. Are there other unclean areas of the home, like floors, stairways, and old spills?

These factors may indicate that your parents need help around the house.
Peek in the refrigerator and check the condition of the food. Has anything spoiled? Is the home lacking in groceries? A neglected refrigerator may indicate a variety of problems. Your senior parents may have a tough time cleaning it out, they may be having difficulty getting to the grocery store or carrying groceries inside, or loss of short-term memory may be causing these issues.
Check the mail. Unpaid bills and a buildup of junk mail may be a sign your senior parents are overwhelmed, or forgetting to take care of household administrative tasks. If your parents are suffering from dementia, it may mean they are forgetting to take care of important business. Caregivers can help organize and keep track of mail. If you are concerned about outsiders helping with personal finances, let the caregivers handle other tasks, allowing your parents to feel less overwhelmed. If someone else is handling grocery shopping and doctor’s appointments, your senior parents might remember to pay the electric bill.
Have a look under the sinks and in medicine cabinets. Ensuring your senior parents can read labels of household products and medications, and ensuring they are taking necessary medications is an important part of protecting their safety and keeping them healthy. If your senior parents are unable to handle health issues such as these, they probably need support on a daily basis.
Observe your parent’s appearance. Are they having a difficult time keeping up with personal hygiene? Do you often see them in the same outfit? This may mean doing laundry is a difficult task, or it may mean they are neglecting their personal appearance and hygiene. They may also be concerned about their safety while bathing or showering. Falling, or the fear of falling, often leads to loss of confidence, imposed isolation, and immobility. Speak to them about their concerns and determine the cause of the problem. This can help the two of you best solve the problem.
Speak with your parent’s neighbors and friends about their habits and daily routines. Find out if things seem to be in order or if they have noticed changes in schedules or long periods of time spent alone in their home. Seniors need companionship. If they are depressed, they may be spending more time at home, away from people.
If you suspect your senior parents may be suffering from dementia or memory loss, have a look at the bottom of their pots and pans. If the bottoms are burned, it may indicate that tasks like heating things on the stove are going unsupervised during bouts of dementia. This can be dangerous and you should take action as soon as possible to get your parent the help they need.
Have your senior parents missed doctor’s appointments recently? This may indicate they do not have appropriate transportation, they may not be willing to face impending health problems, or they may be suffering from memory loss and have forgotten the appointments. One of the most common ways a caregiver helps seniors is ensuring that they get to their doctor’s appointments.
Have you received phone calls from your senior parents at unusual hours? This may indicate that they are confused or lonely. It may be a way for them to tell you there may be a problem like depression, even if they are unwilling to say it outright. A visit from a caregiver can help them with confusion and provide companionship, as can participating in activities at a senior center or scheduling additional visits with family members.
Are your senior parents showing signs of depression? As people age, they may feel lonely and isolated. Spouses, family members, and friends may suffer health problems or drift away. These life changes remind seniors of their own mortality, which can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair. Keeping your senior parents active can help ward off depression. Do not feel as if you have to handle this all on your own. A reputable In-Home Care agency offers the in-home support your parent needs.

http://www.caringconnectionsllc.com  850-354-5336

The information in the article is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with appropriate healthcare provider.

3 Concerns when hiring Home Care

caregiver_african_american3 Family Concerns When Hiring Home Car
Every day across the United States, professional caregivers enter private homes of people who live alone and are unable to take care of themselves, whether they are recovering from illness, injury or require long-term assistance.
These are the people we trust to take care of our aging parents, spouses and loved ones when we can’t be there or when extra help is needed. It is natural to have questions and concerns prior to deciding to hire a professional.
1. Reliability
Families may feel some initial anxiety about hiring professional help to care for their loved ones, but ensuring trust and satisfaction upfront can help alleviate this stress. To do this, family members should ask certain questions during the interview process. Background checks and training are both necessary to ensure you and your loved one’s safety and security. Ask for references and be sure to check them.
In addition to background screenings, families should ensure that the potential caregiver is properly trained to deal with their loved one’s specific conditions. Any certification program should abide by the guidelines established by their state’s Department of Health.
Training typically covers a broad range of subjects, including personal care, vital signs, nutrition, sensitivity to other cultures and understanding professional boundaries.
2. Compatibility
In addition to hiring someone who is properly trained and certified, it’s essential to find someone who is compassionate and caring. Beyond this, there are two other essential components: compatibility and communication.
Some home care companies or agencies will provide you, as a prospective client, with a profile to fill out that outlines exactly what you and your loved one need. Then, a registered nurse should visit the client at their home to develop a customized plan of the services that will address his or her care needs. The agency should also take steps to ensure that their home health aides are carefully matched to fit each client’s unique personality and lifestyle. This process allows everyone to be on the same page and work together as a team to provide the most customized care plan possible.
Once a plan is in place, the communication does not stop there. You should establish and maintain a professional relationship that encourages open lines of communication throughout the course of care. A professional will expect you to establish appropriate boundaries and you will feel much better once you do. If your loved one engages in cultural behaviors or observes certain traditions, it’s important to communicate them early on. Discuss any questions, concerns or issues as soon as they come up.
3. Independence and privacy
The purpose of this care is to create an environment that is conducive to keeping the client safe and independent at home. While the care they provide is undoubtedly vital, the ultimate goal is to have your loved one stay in control of their own day-to-day routine.
Longtime home health aide Jennifer Paul emphasizes being a good listener. She is mindful that the people she cares for are not only physically challenged, but also can feel frustrated or stripped of their independence and privacy.
“When you go into someone’s home, you have to give them a little space,” she explains. “Don’t just take over. Listen, really listen, to what they want.”
If the plan of care says a person should get up at 6:00 a.m., for instance, but he or she really prefers to get up at 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m., talk to the nurse about revisiting the plan of care. “If a patient really doesn’t like something, I try to understand what they’re saying and see if we can’t work accordingly,” says Jennifer.
Most home care professionals derive satisfaction and strength from a job well-done, which is often achieved early in the day.

Caring Connections Senior Care  850-354-5336

From aging care.com