Alzheimer’s disease generally progresses over three stages: early, middle, and late. Those diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s still have a largely “normal” life and everyday routine, but may struggle with memory lapses. Middle-stage Alzheimer’s is very different, as those same individuals require a new, more specialized level of care. Often, their daily life needs readjusting.
The middle stage typically lasts the longest and can develop into the late stage, the most severe, which sees the patient losing the ability to care for themselves and having trouble carrying on with conversations. Due to the middle stage’s long-lasting effects, it’s important for family members and friends to educate themselves on the condition, what it does to the loved one in question, and what they can do to help.
Every individual that deals with middle-stage Alzheimer’s has a separate, unique experience. Some forget to turn off the stove on occasion. Others struggle with names of friends they don’t socialize with often. They may also struggle with performing daily tasks or expressing their thoughts. You may notice that they’re getting frustrated easily, unable to recall past memories, or getting lost.
As the months and years pass, the individual in question may require more assistance from family members and caregivers. They may choose to withdraw from social situations, as recalling certain names and faces becomes difficult and embarrassing to them. Don’t forget, while their capacity to remember and retain information fades, their emotions don’t go anywhere but rather amplify over time.
Once entering the middle stage of Alzheimer’s, a change in their daily activities is likely necessary. Getting dressed, eating, and tasks like brushing teeth can start to cause stress due to the loss of independence that they once had. If you experience the individual getting frustrated, take a step back and allow them to finish the task on their own. Giving them space but encouraging them to complete it will boost their confidence once finished. In order for caregiving to be effective and permitted by the individual, they need to hang onto their integrity and self-respect.
Going from needing little-to-no care in the early stage to requiring assistance with simple tasks later on is taxing on the individual seeking care. It can have a negative effect on those already experiencing mental strain. This new level of care is essential, therefore, in helping them feel comfortable and understood. A caregiver’s approach is tailored to the specific needs of the individual, which includes taking on new responsibilities as they present themselves.
Mid-stage Alzheimer’s care also consists of helping individuals slowly adapt to a new routine while ensuring their voices are heard. Family members and friends should be informed when any necessary changes are made, and visits should be planned out in a manner so they don’t overwhelm the person being looked after.
With consistent care, communication and compassion, an individual with middle-stage Alzheimer’s can live a fulfilling, safe and comfortable life. Our Alzheimer’s and cognitive impairment services at C-Care can help at any stage. If this sounds like something you or a loved one needs, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’re here for you and those you cherish, every step of the way.
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