Alzheimer’s Awareness: What It Is & How We Can Reduce Our Risk

Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 6.5 million Americans over the age of 65. One in nine individuals age 65 and older are afflicted, with a projection of 12.7 million Americans by the year 2050. Currently, people living with Alzheimer’s make up a significant portion of those receiving long term care. They incur more hospital and skilled nursing stays than other older individuals, and accrue more home health visits. With an estimated cost of 1 trillion dollars by 2050, Alzheimer’s disease is one of the costliest conditions to society and families – families who value their loved one’s quality of life, and wish to provide the best in long term care options. 

Not Just Memory Loss

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease of the mind. Studies show that although family history is not required to develop Alzheimer’s disease, those with a parent or sibling with the disease, are more likely to be afflicted.  The rate at which it develops is specific to the individual. The uncertainty of this process furthers the question of what will be required long term. 

The disease begins by forming plaques and tangles within the areas of the brain involved with memory. Later, the parts of the brain responsible for speaking, reasoning, and participating socially, are affected. The ability to speak, eat and move around can all be involved. However, modern medicine has provided medication and management strategies that can temporarily improve symptoms, allowing those with the disease to live longer, more independent lives.

Options for Living with Alzheimer’s

An individual living with Alzheimer’s will need help with their day-to-day activities eventually. They may opt to receive in-home assistance, or pursue more care and engagement within a community by being a resident of a long-term care setting. In-home care provides daily assistance with self-care tasks, including dressing, eating, and maintaining hygiene/grooming skills. In-home care would also provide help with more strenuous activities of daily living, such as cooking, cleaning, as well as make sure to provide access to the individual’s daily interests and hobbies. A long term care facility provides all of this, as well as easy access to the setting’s communal events. As the disease progresses, due to safety implications within the home, 24-hour care within a nursing home may become the best option.

The decision to move to a care community is not made easily. Families who have been through this say to gather as much information as you can, and move forward with a plan. Visit several communities at different times of the day, compare them online, and be sure to ask about payment options to make sure their long term care insurance covers the cost. Visit to explore options for additional support.


Although the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown, and there is no current cure for the condition, leading a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk. Here are the current recommendations:

  • Prevent cardiovascular disease by the following: quit smoking, limit alcohol intake, exercise daily, maintain a well-balanced diet, and stay up to date on health visits. Cardiovascular disease has been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Limit other risk factors, including depression, hearing loss, and social isolation. By modifying these conditions, your risk is reduced.
  • Maintain your mental health, and participate socially. Keep your brain active by reading, trying new activities, seeing friends and family, and engaging in cognition boosting games, such as cards, puzzles, or certain computer programs, like Lumosity.

Alzheimer’s disease is not currently curable, but studies have shown best practices in prevention. Leading a healthy lifestyle, being active socially, and pursuing cognitively enriched activities can reduce your risk of developing the disease. If you or your loved one develops the condition, there are treatment options, and different levels of care to best meet your needs. For more information, and to explore options for additional support, visit

If you have questions about long-term care coverage or how NPFBA can help serve you, feel free to reach out to us via our website, phone, or email!

If you have questions about long-term care coverage or how NPFBA can help serve you, feel free to reach out to us via our website, phone, email or schedule a zoom meeting and let’s grab some face time!

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