Alzheimer's Myths

There are many Alzheimer’s myths that surround the disease.  In this article we share with you the most common types of myths.  As the Concord, MA and surrounding population ages, many people will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which is the fasted growing disease in the USA.

Alzheimer’s Myths and Facts

Myth 1:  Memory loss is a natural part of aging

Facts: As people age, it is normal to have occasional memory lapses, like forgetting a person’s name you recently met.  Alzheimer’s is more than occasional memory loss.  It is a disease that causes brain cells to malfunction and eventually die.  When this occurs, an individual may forget the name of a longtime friend or common roads they take in areas they’ve lived in for years.

Home Care Can Help: With supervision care, an experienced caregiver is there for a few hours, up to a full 24 hour schedule, to make sure someone with Alzheimer’s does not drive, walk off, or do something that could injure themselves or others.

Myth 2:  Alzheimer’s disease is not fatal.

Facts: Alzheimer’s disease currently has zero survivors and 100% fatality rate.  It destroys brain cells and causes memory changes, erratic behaviors, and loss of body functions.  It slowly takes away a person’s identity, ability to connect with others, to eat, speak, walk, and find their way home even if they have lived in the same house for forty years.

Home Care Can Help:  No one can save the life of someone with Alzheimer’s disease.  What home care can do is take care of an individual as they decline into the later stages of this disease.

Myth 3: Only older people can get Alzheimer’s

Fact: Alzheimer’s can strike people in their 30’s 40’s and even 50’s.  This is considered younger-onset Alzheimer’s.  It is estimated that there are as many as 5.4 million people living with Alzheimer’s in the USA.  This includes 5.2 million people over 65, and over 200,000 people under the age of sixty-five.

Home Care Can Help: One common myth about home care is that it is only for seniors.  Regardless of age, condition, and what the person’s stage of memory impairment, home care is a possible option for those with Alzheimer’s who want to stay at home.

Myth 4:  Using aluminum products like cans or cookware can lead to Alzheimer’s Disease

Fact:  This was a concern in the 60’s and 70’s and aluminum emerged as a possible suspect.  This suspicion grew because people were concerned about the amount of aluminum in our day to day eating patterns.  We drink out of cans, store food in cans, cook with aluminum pots and pans, deodorants, etc.  Studies have failed to show any correlation between aluminum and Alzheimer’s.

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Myth 5: Aspartame causes memory loss

Fact:  Artificial sweeteners, which are known to the public as Nutrasweet and Equal, were approved by the FDA for use in 1996.  Since approval, there have been concerns about health effects when ingesting aspartame.  You can read more about their finding here.

Home Care Can Help:  Home care aides can cook meals for seniors who have strict allergy diets, or for people that do not want to ingest certain types of foods.  We can cook for you three times a day, or once or twice a week, and plan meals in safe containers for days when seniors are alone.

 

Myth 6: Flu shots increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Fact: The theory that flu shots increase risk of Alzheimer’s has been debunked by multiple studies.

 

Myth 7: Silver dental fillings increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Fact:  Like above there are multiple institutes, and government studies done on the correlation of mercury fillings and Alzheimer’s disease and found no link.

  • March 1991, the Dental Devices Panel of the FDA concluded there was no current evidence that amalgam poses any danger.

  • The NIH (National Institutes of Health)  (Read more here)

  • October 2003 a New England Journal of Medicine  (Read more here)

 

Myth 8:  There are treatments available to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s

Fact:  Unfortunately, at this time there is no treatment to cure, delay, or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.  FDA approved drugs temporarily slow the worsening of symptoms for 6-12 months on average for 50% individuals that take them.

What Alzheimer’s myths have you heard of?  Share your thoughts with us below.