Memory Care – Home Care for Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Along with the American Alzheimer’s Association, Abcor Home Health, Inc. is a proud member of the family helpline network of licensed home services agencies in the State of Illinois.  Due to the substantial impact of Alzheimer’s disease on families, Abcor provides home care and even hospice care where necessary. We also serveas a community resource by linking families with available resources from the National Institute on Aging and the American Alzheimer’s Association.

Abcor Home Health, Inc. supports quality home care services for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients through continuing education and training seminars by the Life Services Network and the Illinois Homecare Council.

Abcor Home Health, Inc. works with the American Hospice Foundation by supporting hospice as a choice for loved ones with Dementia AND terminal illnesses. Abcor provides families with information about hospice care, caregiving in general, aand coping with grief. Abcor is acknowledged by the National Association of Homecare and Hospice as a leading home services provider in Illinois.

Alzheimer’s Facts

  • More than 5 million American’s have Alzheimer’s disease according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
  • Every 67 seconds someone in the US develops a new case of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • People over the age of 65 are most affected by Alzheimer’s, with one in nine seniors suffering from the disease.
  • In 2014, an estimated 469,000 new cases / incidences of Alzheimer’s disease were diagnosed. By 2030, that number is expected to increase to 615,000 new cases per year.

Alzheimer’s disease can affect different people in different ways, but the most common pattern of symptoms begins with gradually worsening difficulty in remembering new information.  This is because disintegration of brain cells usually begins in regions involved in forming new memories. As damage spreads, individuals also experience confusion, disorganized thinking, impaired judgment, trouble expressing themselves and disorientation to time, space and location. All of this may lead to unsafe wandering and socially inappropriate behavior. In advanced cases of Alzheimer’s, people need help with bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, eating and performing other daily activities. Those in the final stages of the disease lose their ability to communicate, fail to recognize loved ones and become bed-ridden and reliant on 24/7 care.

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disease of the brain and is the most common type of dementia.  This ongoing loss of the brain’s nerve cells means that thinking, remembering, relating to others, and the ability to care for one’s self will disappear over time.  At this time, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.  Although research has produced treatments that may slow the progression of early Alzheimer’, there is currently no treatment that will reverse the damage or stop it altogether.

Other Types of Dementia

  • Vascular dementia
  • Mixed dementia
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus

Vascular dementia - Also known as multi-infarct dementia, post-stroke dementia, or vascular cognitive impairment, Vascular dementia is considered the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. Impairment is caused by decreased blood flow to parts of the brain, often due to a series of small strokes that block arteries. Symptoms often overlap with those of Alzheimer’s, although memory may not be as seriously affected.

Mixed dementia – Characterized by the presence of the hallmark abnormalities of Alzheimer’s and another type of dementia, most commonly vascular dementia, at the same time.  Can also display the symptoms characteristic of other types of dementia such as those below.

Dementia with Lewy bodies - Pattern of decline may be similar to Alzheimer’s, including problems with memory and judgment and behavior changes. Alertness and severity of cognitive symptoms may fluctuate daily. Visual hallucinations, muscle rigidity, and tremors are common. Hallmarks include “Lewy bodies” which are abnormal deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein that form inside nerve cells in the brain.

Parkinson’s disease - Many people who have Parkinson’s disease develop dementia in the later stages of the disease. The hallmark abnormality is Lewy bodies as above.

Frontotemporal dementia- Involves damage to brain cells, especially in the front and side regions of the brain. Typical symptoms include changes in personality and behavior and difficulty with language. No distinguishing microscopic abnormality is linked to all cases. Pick’s disease, characterized by Pick’s bodies, is one type of frontotemporal dementia.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – Rapidly fatal disorder that impairs memory and coordination and causes behavior changes. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is believed to be caused by consumption of products from cattle affected by mad cow disease. Caused by the misfolding of prion protein throughout the brain.

Normal pressure hydrocephalus- Caused by the buildup of fluid in the brain. Symptoms include difficulty walking, memory loss, and inability to control urine. Can sometimes be corrected with surgical involvement.