Medicare Part B covers Annual Wellness Visit (AWV), during which your doctor can make assessments for Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairments. You can get this health risk assessment during the first 12 months of having Medicare Part B. After that, you can get subsequent Annual Wellness Visits every 12 months. Now that you know how Medicare covers Alzheimer’s, what exactly is it?
What is Alzheimer’s?
The Alzheimer’s Association defines the disease:
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. Symptoms eventually grow severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.Alzheimer’s Association
The National Institute on Aging says Alzheimer’s disease is irreversible and results in the progressive destruction of memory and thinking skills. Furthermore, most people first develop symptoms around the age of 65. Thus, it’s critical you get a Wellness visit every year.
Now that you know seniors are at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, what are some of the warning signs?
3 Warning Signs You May Have Alzheimer’s
The Alzheimer’s Association provides a list of ten early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The following are three warning signs you may have Alzheimer’s disease:
- Memory Loss disrupts your daily life – in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, “you forget recently learned information.” For example, you might forget what you ate for breakfast or repeat yourself in conversation. However, as Alzheimer’s progresses, you slowly lose your long-term memory. For example, family members – sons and daughters – become strangers to a person with late-stage Alzheimer’s.
- Confusion with time or place – you can lose track of dates and the passage of time. For example, a person with Alzheimer’s may not know the current day, month, or year. Furthermore, you may not know where you are or how you got there.
- New problems with words in speaking or writing – you may stop in the middle of a conversation, not knowing how to continue. In other cases, you may have trouble naming a familiar object. For example, a person with Alzheimer’s may call their son or daughter by a different name.
Now that you know some of the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, what can you do to prevent it?
How to Maintain Cognitive Health
The National Institute on Agings provides a list of steps to maintain cognitive health. The following are five healthy habits to reduce your risk of cognitive decline:
5 Healthy Habits
- Exercise regularly – clients of Senior Healthcare Direct can join the Active&Fit Direct fitness program. Watch a video and find out who qualifies for the program and how this gym membership can save you money!
- Eat a nutritious diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Keep your mind active – engage in personally meaningful activities such as hobbies. For example, you can take a class or learn a new skill. Likewise, you can read books or play games.
- Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol – too much alcohol can cause seniors to be forgetful and confused. Furthermore, your doctor could mistake these symptoms for signs of Alzheimer’s.
- Get plenty of sleep – 7 to 9 hours each night. If you do not get a good night’s sleep, the next day, you may feel irritable, have memory problems or be forgetful, and feel depressed.
Changing your habits can be challenging. Medicare provides telehealth counseling to help you make lifestyle changes.
Medicare Telehealth Counseling
Certain life events such as senior retirement or losing a spouse can lead to trouble sleeping, alcohol abuse, malnutrition, and weight gain. Fortunately, seniors can get Medicare telehealth counseling that includes:
- Alcohol misuse counseling
- Medical nutrition counseling
- Obesity counseling
Furthermore, Medicare covers psychotherapy with a clinical psychologist. You can get help with anxiety and depression in person or through telehealth services.
Counseling services can help you make healthy lifestyle changes and reduce your risk of cognitive decline. Moreover, engaging in the above healthy habits can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.