Although Alzheimer’s is a degenerative illness, it doesn’t necessarily happen all at once. There are essentially three stages of Alzheimer’s: the early/mild stage, the middle/moderate stage, and the final/severe stage. Although there are three distinct stages, the progression of Alzheimer’s is different for each individual, and each senior experiences symptoms at his or her own rate. However, there are key indicators that can provide insight into which stage a senior with Alzheimer’s is in. With that knowledge in mind, you can take the next steps in providing the necessary care for that particular stage.
First Stage: Subtle Changes & Lack of Focus
When someone is diagnosed in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s, he or she will most likely be functioning quite normally. Your loved one may still conduct daily activities with ease, but he or she may also notice subtle changes in memory and the ability to concentrate. Other common signs include being unable to think of the right word or misplacing everyday objects. It’s common to misread these symptoms and mistake them for the typical signs of aging, but it helps to err on the side of caution. Early detection of Alzheimer’s cannot prevent the disease from progressing, but it can afford your loved one the opportunity to live longer with the disease and make plans for the future.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Second Stage: Wandering, Confusion, & Emotional Changes
The moderate stage of Alzheimer’s is typically the longest, and seniors with Alzheimer’s can live in this stage for anywhere from 2 to 10 years before entering the severe stage. With this stage come a multitude of changes, such as a decreasing ability to recall personal details or difficulty using everyday objects, such as a telephone or an oven. Seniors in the middle stage of Alzheimer’s can also experience uncontrollable bladder or bowel issues and will likely begin to wander restlessly, and your loved one may even get lost. Other major changes can include mood swings, compulsive repetition of activities, and unusual sleeping patterns. You may notice your loved one is irritable and withdrawn or becomes easily frustrated in challenging situations and cannot communicate his or her feelings clearly. In this stage, your loved one will require more attentive care and supervision when performing important tasks such as paying bills, remembering to take medications, and signing legal documents.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Surrey Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Final Stage: Immobility & Inability to Communicate
By the last stage of Alzheimer’s, seniors often lose their ability to communicate altogether. It’s also likely they will lose some motor functions, such as the ability to walk, talk, and swallow. Your loved one will require around-the-clock care to ensure all personal, nutritional, and hygienic needs are being met. Seniors in this stage of Alzheimer’s are also very susceptible to illnesses and infections. Depending on the severity of your loved one’s condition, he or she would likely benefit from having an in-home caregiver. Caregivers are essential, as they’re equipped to assist both seniors and their families through the final stage of this disease and are available 24 hours a day.
If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Surrey seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. Call Home Care Assistance today at (778) 279-3634 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.