Living with Alzheimer’s: No longer considered ‘old person’ disease
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills.
Although found more common in older adults, according to the National Institute of Aging, the disease can be detected in those younger than the age of 60.
“I actually got diagnosed back on March 23, 2016,” said Arthena Caston.
Medical professionals diagnosed Caston with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease at 51-years-old.
The diagnosis shocked Caston at first. However, after six months, she advocates for those fighting the disease.
“Over 300,00 people are living with early-stage Alzheimer’s,” shared Caston.
She says at this stage, she only has a problem with reading, but still can function just fine. However, she knows others have worse symptoms.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s
“Her vision is off, she will not know where a door is,” said caregiver, Ellen Murphy. “She hasn’t known about day and time for a long time. And sometimes she’ll just talk nonsense.”
Murphy cares for her 73-year-old sister who was diagnosed five years ago. She says the disease brings both good and bad days — you never know what you’ll get.
Alzheimer’s disease does not have a cure, but it does have medication to slow it down.
The best way to deal with the disease as a caregiver or the person who has it
- Have a daily routine
- Reassure the person that they are safe
- Try not to anger
- Keep things simple