If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, their care, well-being and quality of life just may ultimately depend on your understanding of the disease. Depending on how far the disease has progressed, your loved one will require varying degrees of Alzheimer’s care. Understanding how the disease progresses will help you prepare for all of their short-term and long-term care options.
It is important to note that early detection is a key in Alzheimer’s treatment. While there is currently no known cure, if the disease is detected early, proper Alzheimer’s care can help slow down the progression.
The seven stages of Alzheimer’s include:
1. No impairment - At this early stage, there are not any visible signs of the disease. The patient is not exhibiting any signs of memory loss or outward impairment.
2. Mild impairment - The disease is still very early in its progression. Alzheimer’s patients at this level may begin experiencing some very minor signs of memory loss or forgetfulness. Unfortunately, these signs are often dismissed as normal signs of aging. The disease is, otherwise, virtually undetectable.
3. Mild Cognitive Decline - This is the first stage where the disease may be detectable in a medical examination. The patient will begin experiencing lapses in memory loss and concentration that are apparent to family or friends.
4. Moderate Cognitive Decline - The disease is now completely detectable through a medical examination. Patients will begin to experience the memory loss of recent events.
5. Moderate-Severe Decline - At this stage, the patient’s Alzheimer’s care will include assistance with the completion of some daily tasks. Memory loss will be more severe, as the patient has trouble recalling personal information, such as telephone numbers, names and places.
6. Severe Decline - At this stage, the Alzheimer’s patient may need the assistance of a long-term care facility. Their personality will change, and they will need help with the completion of basic personal tasks.
7. Very Severe Decline - In this last stage, the Alzheimer’s patient will stop responding to outside stimuli. They will lose the ability to control motor functions and hold a conversation. Patients at this state will need assistance with all of their basic needs, including eating and using the toilet.
Contact Brookdale today for more information about how our Alzheimer’s care facilities and Clare Bridge program can help your loved one.
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