How to Recognize the Stages of Alzheimer’s

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Alzheimer’s disease typically progresses through several main stages marked by varying levels of severity. Although the transition from one stage to the next is often subtle, you can use this guide to notice when your senior loved one’s care needs are changing. 

Signs Your Loved One May Have Alzheimer’s

The earliest stage of Alzheimer’s disease tends to begin before it’s diagnosed. During this period, your loved one’s brain is undergoing changes that may not be evident yet in his or her everyday interactions. If you or your loved one notices symptoms, such as forgetting to take a pill, you may laugh them off as senior moments. As these symptoms begin to happen more often, your loved one’s friends or physician may be able to detect them and express concern. While some seniors may try to brush this off, early detection and treatment is the best way to slow the progression of the disease through the next several stages. 

What to Look for in the First Stages

The first stages are considered a mild form of Alzheimer’s disease. Typically, seniors can continue to live independently, but they may begin to require some accommodations. For example, your loved one may put an alarm on his or her keys that allows him or her to relocate them after a bout of memory loss. Using calendars and smartphone alarms and writing things down are all common solutions to the memory challenges that occur during this stage. 

Depending on your loved one’s personality, you can also expect him or her to deny the diagnosis at first, or he or she may refuse assistance when offered. If this happens with your loved one, continue to be compassionate as you talk about the condition until he or she comes around to your point of view. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Common Symptoms Noticed during the Middle Stages

The middle, or moderate, stages of Alzheimer’s can last for quite a few years. At this point, the symptoms may be noticeable to people outside your loved one’s social circle. For instance, your loved one may forget people’s names or forget what he or she is talking about mid-conversation. This is also the stage when your loved one may do things such as forget to bathe or skip meals accidentally. To address symptoms such as these and alleviate frustration, you may need to increase your loved one’s level of care to include more assistance with daily activities. 

There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Edmonton in-home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Things to Expect in the Later Stages

Although it may be difficult to think or talk about, planning now for the future gives your loved one reassurance that he or she will be okay. In the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease, your loved one may need around-the-clock monitoring to prevent wandering. Once it’s clear your loved one is moving into the later stages of Alzheimer’s, make sure to provide adequate support so he or she can continue to enjoy a high quality of life. 

For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Edmonton families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s care needs. Call us at (780) 490-7337 to learn about our comprehensive in-home care plans.

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