Your life can get substantially more difficult when you find out that one of your loved ones has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. At the moment you get notified, you’ll probably find it hard to plan for the future as you will probably have no idea as to what to expect in terms of life expectancy or how to provide support with the disease. Because of this, it’s very important to find out as much as you can about this disease and get informed on how you can help your loved one through the difficult times. In order to do this, it is a smart idea to get acquainted with the various stages of Alzheimer’s, that go from early to moderate, ending with severe.
Early stage (Mild Alzheimer's)
According to a report from the Alzheimer’s Association, the earliest stage of this disease can manifest some light mental decline and, because of that, the symptoms for Alzheimer’s will be difficult to identify. The person affected will still be work-capable, and shouldn’t have any issues with personal care or driving. Nevertheless, they will still display some symptoms. Some of them include:
- Issues with event planning, making it in time or at all for appointments, or some other daily tasks
- They will find it hard to remember names of people or places
- Loss of short-term memory
- Difficulty locating items around the house such as keys, wallets, or clothes
Middle stage (Moderate Alzheimer's)
This stage of Alzheimer’s lasts the longest, sometimes up to a decade or more. During this stage, people affected by Alzheimer’s will start displaying some more identifiable symptoms. They will often have troubles with daily activities and tasks such as taking their medications or paying their bills on time. Their long-term memory shouldn’t be too affected though, as they will still be able to remember names of close friends or relatives, or anniversaries. One of the most important parts of the various stages of Alzheimer’s is having lots of patience, and especially so during the moderate stage of Alzheimer’s, when your loved one will get increasingly irritated due to the damage this disease causes to their brain cells. Some other symptoms that can be noticed during this stage include:
- Diminished short-term memory
- Issues remembering certain details such as home address or personal phone number
- Loss of bladder and bowels control
- Sleep disruptions
The middle stage of Alzheimer’s will also lead to certain behavioral changes as well. They can include:
- Social isolation and mood swings
- Compulsive behavior, accompanied by some repetitive actions such as constant hand squeezing
- Delusional thoughts and suspicions about people around them
Late stage (Severe Alzheimer's)
As Alzheimer’s gets into the last stage, the symptoms get more and more pronounced and severe. This will make caregiving a daunting task, as the person affected will need 24/7 care and attention. People that have transitioned into the last stages of Alzheimer’s usually use the majority of their motor functions, which will make it difficult for them to have a conversation or move around the house. Apart from the various symptoms, this stage of Alzheimer’s has some more pronounced behavioral and personality changes. Some of them include:
- Higher susceptibility to infections
- Decreased motor abilities such as walking and swallowing
- Need of 24/7 care and attention
- Difficulties communicating, making it hard to say when they’re in pain or if they need something
The task of gaining a greater understanding of the various stages of Alzheimer’s is one of the basic steps to learn how to manage the disease. Finding a memory care facility that will provide your loved one with all the care and attention they need is another important step that you will eventually have to take once Alzheimer’s progresses to the more difficult stages. These memory care facilities will be able to provide your loved one with a safe and comfortable environment, helping them throughout the various stages of the disease with the assistance of professionals that have been trained and educated in providing memory care.
On our website, we have a plethora of resources and information on Alzheimer’s and its various symptoms. We also have a list of various memory care facilities throughout the whole country, so feel free to browse www.assisted-living-facilities.net and get informed about this disease and how you can provide your loved one with all the care and attention they need, or, if you’re not able to – you will surely find a memory care facility that is specifically designed to provide care for Alzheimer’s patients.
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