Understanding Alzheimer's Disease and Resources Available For Wilmington Area Residents

Understanding Alzheimer's Disease and Resources Available For Wilmington Area Residents

Oct 05, 2023

"Alzheimer's," is a complex neurodegenerative condition affecting more than 180,000 people over 65 here in North Carolina. The National Alzheimer's Association reported that there are 356,000 unpaid family caregivers providing over 514 million hours of care in North Carolina alone. One of the scariest things is that family caregivers are at greater risk for anxiety and depression. Study's show that spouses who assume the role of caregiver actually have a greater mortality rate than the ones they care for.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of Alzheimer's disease for resident's living here in Wilmington, NC. Its causes, symptoms, stages, diagnosis, treatment, ongoing research, and how to provide support to individuals facing this challenging condition.

Brook Vallely the program manager for the Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association reports that "In the Cape Fear region, the population in Brunswick County continues to grow at an explosive rate".

What Is Alzheimer's Disease?

Alzheimer's is a progressive neurological disorder that primarily affects memory, thinking, and behavior. It is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. Those living with Alzheimer's often experience memory loss, confusion, and difficulty completing everyday tasks. As a caregiver or family member, it's crucial to grasp the fundamentals of this disease to provide the best possible support.

Causes and Risk Factors

While the exact cause of Alzheimer's remains uncertain, several factors are believed to contribute to its development. These include genetics, age, and environmental factors. Understanding these potential risk factors can help individuals make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer's.

Symptoms and Stages

Alzheimer's symptoms can vary from person to person and progress over time. The early stages may involve mild memory lapses and confusion, while the later stages often include profound memory loss, disorientation, and changes in behavior. Recognizing these symptoms and the different stages of Alzheimer's is crucial for early diagnosis and appropriate care.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing Alzheimer's typically involves a comprehensive evaluation, including medical history, cognitive tests, and sometimes brain imaging. Early diagnosis is essential as it allows for better management of the disease. While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's, various treatment options, including medications and non-pharmacological approaches, can help manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's Research and Future Outlook

Researchers worldwide are dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of Alzheimer's. Ongoing studies focus on understanding its underlying causes, developing potential treatments, and exploring preventive measures. As we gain a deeper understanding of this disease, there is hope for groundbreaking discoveries that may change the outlook for Alzheimer's patients and their families.

Alzheimer's Prevention

While there is no guaranteed way to prevent Alzheimer's, certain lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of developing the disease. Encouraging a healthy diet, regular exercise, mental stimulation, and social engagement are important steps individuals can take to promote brain health as they age.

Providing Support for Alzheimer's Patients In Wilmington, NC

Alzheimer's not only affects the individual but also places significant demands on caregivers and family members. Providing emotional and practical support is essential. Resources such as support groups, senior care in Wilmington care such as Age in Place Home Care Services, and education can help caregivers navigate the challenges of caring for someone with Alzheimer's.

The North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services has an initiative named NC Project C.A.R.E., Caregiver Alternatives To Running On Empty. In Wilmington you can learn more by contacting the Cape fear Area on Aging that can be reached at (910) 408-6365.

The Alzheimer's Association Eastern North Carolina Chapter can be reached at (919) 803-8285 and the 24/7 Helpline Support can be reached at (800) 272-3900

Age In Place home Care Services offers expert assistance and caregiving services in Wilmington NC. Their staff of experienced Alzheimer's caregivers are available at any time of the day to help provide the services needed to help preserve the dignity of Alzheimer's patients and to improve the quality of life for patients and family members alike. They can be reached at (910) 348-7440.


Alzheimer's is a complex disease that poses significant challenges to those affected and their caregivers. Understanding its nature, causes, and progression is essential for early diagnosis and effective management. While there is currently no cure, ongoing research offers hope for better treatments and prevention strategies in the future. Providing support and care to individuals living with Alzheimer's is a vital role that caregivers and family members play in improving their quality of life and well-being.