Alzheimer’s disease impacts both men and women, but senior men are more likely to be misdiagnosed than senior women. The symptoms men experience often go unnoticed, which makes it challenging for doctors to diagnose Alzheimer’s. Here is a closer look at the reasons this disease is difficult to diagnose in men.
Differences in Development
Alzheimer’s develops in men at a younger age compared to women. Men can begin experiencing early-onset Alzheimer’s in their 60s, whereas women don’t typically encounter the disease until their 70s, 80s, and even their 90s. Therefore, family caregivers and doctors are not looking for symptoms associated with the disease at this age. Instead, they tie the symptoms to other age-related health conditions.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality non-medical senior care. Allen families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Lack of Warning Signs
Men experience changes in their behavior, including their mobility and language skills. As the disease sets in, the symptoms become less obvious to doctors. Men do not always encounter the most notable factor of Alzheimer’s disease, which is memory loss. Family members are less likely to believe their father has the disease if his memory is still intact. Keep in mind there is no blood test or imaging examination that can diagnose this disease. Instead, doctors rely on symptoms to diagnose Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s disease affects men faster than it affects women. With females, it takes longer for Alzheimer’s to attack the brain’s cortex. The disease takes over the brain and targets the hippocampus in men faster than it does with women. This causes more men to die from Alzheimer’s disease without being properly diagnosed.
No Guaranteed Testing Methods
Doctors can’t accurately test for Alzheimer’s disease until after a person has died, when they can use a microscope to closely monitor the brain. Since doctors cannot test for Alzheimer’s disease, they look for similar symptoms of conditions they can test for. For example, Alzheimer’s disease could cause your loved one to lose physical functionality during the day and night, which could make him or her feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and groggy. However, these symptoms are also associated with skin infections, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections. If your loved one has one of these infections, his or her doctor may rule out Alzheimer’s disease altogether, even though the disease may have begun to develop.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an Allen home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
Lack of Doctor Visits
It is important for senior men to see their family doctor multiple times a year. Failing to do so could lead to a misdiagnosis or allow cognitive decline to happen at a faster rate. Lack of doctor visits is one of the reasons men are harder to diagnose with Alzheimer’s disease. Women typically visit their doctor on a regular basis, even if they are not injured or living with an illness. However, men generally wait until they are ill to go visit their family doctor. To maintain good health and prevent Alzheimer’s disease from progressing at a faster rate, your loved one should visit his doctor to receive a diagnosis as well as a good treatment plan.
Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Allen seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. To create a customized senior care plan for your aging loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (972) 548-0392 today.