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25 Oct 2017

The 3 Stages Of Alzheimer’s Disease

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The most common cause of Alzheimer’s disease is dementia. In a recent blog post we discussed at length the confusing difference between the the two. The cognitive impairment of Alzheimer’s disease progresses slowly once symptoms appear. The family and friends of a patient with Alzheimer’s are challenged as routine activities become more difficult with each passing day. This emotional roller coaster can be lonely, frightening and frustrating for caregivers.

The 3 Stages Of Alzheimer’s Disease

This sadly debilitating disease has some early signs and basically 3 stages. Although there are those who break the stages into 5 or 7 parts, we will deal with the 3 main stages.

Before Symptoms Appear

New imaging technologies can determine someone’s propensity for developing Alzheimer’s long before any symptoms appear. Protein deposits may be found in the brain, forewarning its development. Genetic tests and biomarkers can also indicate increased risk of the disease. These new discoveries may aid in finding the cause and future cure.

Early Stage: Mild

Once symptoms and behaviours appear a patient is in the early, mild stage of Alzheimer’s. Their abilities begin to change. Many in the mild stage lead normal productive lives. The first changes are memory lapses and some confusion such as:

  • Difficulty choosing the right word

  • Difficulty doing tasks in social settings or at work

  • Losing something important or valuable

  • Increasing trouble being organized—for example, difficulty carrying out the sequence of tasks involved in planning a dinner

  • Middle Stage: Moderate

    The middle stage can last for years as confusion increases. As time passes an Alzheimer’s patient needs more and more care. They are easily frustrated and can become angry, and it becomes harder and harder for them to express themselves.

    Common symptoms of the moderate stage are:

    • Confusion about the day of the week, where they are, their address and phone number

    • Reversed sleep patterns

    • Risk of wandering off and getting lost

    • Having delusions

    • Tasks like balancing a checkbook become frustrating or impossible

    • Asking the same questions over and over

    • Memory loss for especially recent events

    • Changes in normal behaviour like agitation at dusk, suspicion toward others, and even becoming aggressive

    Patients in this stage need assistance with daily care. Seek help from C-Care Health Services, who are professionally trained to care for the needs of Alzheimer’s patients. We can help with dressing, bathing, meals, and more.

    Late Stage: Severe

    This stage requires constant care. There are changes to mobility and mental function.

    • Loss of the ability to communicate

    • Needing help with all personal care: bathing, using the toilet, dressing, eating

    • Total decline in physical abilities, for example, abnormal reflexes, rigid muscles, even problems swallowing.

    • At some point it will become impossible for family and friends to adequately care for their loved one.

      Call on the compassionate caregivers at C-Care Health Services if your loved one is in any of the 3 stages of Alzheimer’s disease. We are here to help with all their needs.

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