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The Risk of Your Loved One with Down Syndrome Needing Alzheimer’s Care

Alzheimer’s Care in Philadelphia PA

Your daughter has Down syndrome and has just been diagnosed with developing Alzheimer’s and she is only 45 years old. Can someone really get Alzheimer’s-Care-Philadelphia-PAAlzheimer’s at such a young age? Alzheimer’s can present in anyone at just about any age but typically it is diagnosed in seniors who are in their late 60s. Adults with Down syndrome can develop this disease and need Alzheimer’s care as much as 20 to 30 years earlier than the average senior.

What are the risks of a person with Down syndrome developing Alzheimer’s?

Every person has a genetic makeup that typically consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes. A person with Down syndrome has an extra copy of chromosome 21. This will alter their course of development and put them at a higher risk for developing certain illnesses such as leukemia, seizures, heart defects, Alzheimer’s, and more.

It is estimated that 25 percent of people with Down syndrome over the age of 35 will begin to show signs of needing some type of Alzheimer’s or dementia care. The development of Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia in someone with Down syndrome is estimated to be three to five times more likely and that of a person with an extra chromosome.

Will the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease present in the same way for someone with Down syndrome?

People with Down syndrome experience premature aging and they show signs of physical changes related to age much earlier than someone the same age without Down syndrome. Thus, they can present with signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease up to 20 or even 30 years earlier than the average person, as mentioned above.

The signs and symptoms can also present differently among those with Down syndrome. Memory loss may not be as noticeable and symptoms ordinarily associated with Alzheimer’s don’t always occur.

They may, however, begin to have seizures even though they never had them before. Other changes, such as their thinking, reasoning, and judgement processes will be more noticeable as they become more limited in their functionality.

How can I best help my loved one with Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s?

Whether or not your loved one has Down syndrome or not and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it is imperative to establish quality Alzheimer’s care as soon as possible. This could be in the form of an Alzheimer’s home care aide or looking into an Alzheimer’s assisted living facility. Both options will have experienced and trained individuals who will work with your loved one and provide them with an optimal level of care.


If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home senior care in Philadelphia, PA, contact the caring professionals at Reliant At Home Care today 610-200-6075.


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Cerie Goldenberg, MSW,LSW

Cerie Goldenberg- My name is Cerie Fish Goldenberg. I have dedicated all 40 years of my professional life practicing Social Work in Montgomery County, PA.I earned aMasters Degree of Social Work from the University of Toronto and I am a Licensed Social Worker in Pennsylvania.I was an active participant in the growth of Montgomery County Office on Aging and Adult Service developing needed services and resources for both younger and older adults.

After40 years of being a problem solver and advocate for those in need including my parents who lived into their 90’s and chose to remain in their home, I remain passionate about providing the highest level of service possible to those individuals for whom we are providing care.It is my vision that those of us who choose to remain in their home to be given the opportunity to do so in a safe and dignified manner. Hence the birth or Reliant at Home Care.