Maybe your parent has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or maybe you’re worried about a parent that has begun showing signs of memory lapses. Whatever the case, when you are caring for an aging parent, the thought of Alzheimer’s Disease is frightening and overwhelming. You may be wondering how long your parent will be able to safely live on their own and at what point you may need to hire elder care for them. Knowing the stages of Alzheimer’s Disease may help you make informed decisions. It is important to remember, however, that every person’s journey with the disease is different and these stages are only a general guideline. Your parent’s doctor will be your best resource for determining the progress of the disease.
Stage 1: Mild or Early-Stage Alzheimer’s
Although changes to the brain begin long before the patient reaches the mild stage, most people are diagnosed when they reach the early stage. This is the stage in which symptoms begin to show and it becomes clear to the patient’s family and friends that something is wrong. Some of the difficulties the patient may experience are:
• Trouble remembering the names of people they were just introduced to.
• Difficulty finding the words to express themselves.
• Being unable to remember recent events and asking the same question over and over.
• Personality changes.
• Getting lost or losing things easily.
• Difficulty organizing and carrying out complex tasks.
Stage 2: Moderate or Middle-Stage Alzheimer’s
The moderate stage is usually the longest stage of the disease and can last for years. During this stage, the symptoms will be more obvious and, as they progress, the patient will need more care. The symptoms of the moderate stage include:
• Trouble remembering what day it is or where they are.
• Unexpected behaviors, like refusing to bathe.
• Memory loss concerning events of their own lives.
• Difficulty remembering their own address or telephone number.
• Wandering and getting lost.
• Becoming moody and withdrawn.
• Inability to choose proper clothing for the season.
• Personality changes, such as aggressive behavior or believing people are stealing from them.
Stage 3: Severe or Late-Stage Alzheimer’s
When the patient reaches the late stage of the disease, they are unable to respond to the environment around them and eventually lose the ability to control physical movements. They will require a great deal of care. Patient’s in this stage typically experience the following:
• Difficulty expressing pain, though they may still say a few words.
• Needing extensive assistance to perform daily tasks, such as eating, bathing, and dressing.
• Being susceptible to infections, including pneumonia.
Again, it’s important to remember that people progress through the disease at different rates, so what your parent experiences may be different from the stages described above. You may feel more comfortable seeking elder care for your parent earlier than the middle stage. An elder care provider can help you to feel more secure and comfortable about your parent’s safety and personal care.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Tanglewood, TX, contact the caring staff at Personal Caregiving Services at 832-564-0338. Providing Care in Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Katy, and Sugar Land and the surrounding areas.
In 1989 after selling his family owned food service business, Mr. Gerber pursued his compassion for the elderly by completing his geriatric education and training requirements to be a licensed nursing home administrator (LNFA) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.Previously he received his undergraduate business degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his Masters in business administration (MBA) from the University of Houston.In 2003, Mr. Gerber earned his Certification to be a Senior Advisor (CSA).
Sid Gerber is a Google Verified Author
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