Many families are aware of at least some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and they know what to expect after a diagnosis. Symptoms most closely associated with the disease include poor memory, language problems, repeating oneself, disorientation, personality changes and other odd behaviors. However, could weight loss be another symptom of this cognitive condition?
Today, the Naples Alzheimer’s care experts at Home Care Assistance are going to share some of the research on whether or not Alzheimer’s can cause weight loss in seniors and why. The more information that families have about the disease and possible symptoms, the better they can ensure the safety and health of their aging parent or loved one.
Research data from the Memory and Aging Project at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center has shown that patients who have already been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease do lose weight as the disease progresses, but it is very possible that weight loss could come at the disease’s onset.
In one study performed as part of the Memory and Aging Project, 449 adults between the ages of 65 and 95 with no symptoms Alzheimer’s were followed for six years, during which they were regularly weighed and assessed for dementia. Of these 449 people, 125 developed Alzheimer’s disease during the study. These 125 people weighed an average of eight pounds less than those who did not develop dementia related to Alzheimer’s.
Based on this study, it would be reasonable to conclude that Alzheimer’s can cause weight loss, something that would make sense. A person who is confused and living with Alzheimer’s could conceivably eat less than they would if they were healthier. It is also very possible that they could forget to eat at all. For some seniors, Alzheimer’s takes away certain abilities, such as the ability to drive a car, which could leave him or her unable to get to the grocery store for food.
Because research points to the fact that Alzheimer’s could cause weight loss, it is important that seniors with the disease are provided with the care and support needed to obtain fresh foods and prepare healthy meals. Home Care Assistance offers hourly and live-in Alzheimer’s care from highly trained and compassionate caregivers that can include transportation, healthy meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping and so much more.
To request more information about Alzheimer’s care services for an aging parent or loved one, call 239-449-4701 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager. And don’t forget to ask about our Cognitive Therapeutics Method that is available exclusively to our clients at no additional cost!