A Look at the Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia affect millions of people across the United States, including many right here in San Diego. Caring for seniors who have the disease can be especially challenging because of its progressive nature. The fact is that Alzheimer’s arrives slowly and takes its time as it unfolds across the lives of those afflicted with it. This process can take several years, and it always ends in death, since it is a terminal disease. But for those, like you, who may be providing senior care San Diego, CA for an Alzheimer’s patient, knowing as much as possible about the seven stages of the disease can be incredibly helpful.
If you’re searching for more information to help you care for a senior loved one in San Diego, here is a breakdown of the seven stages of Alzheimer’s Disease:
The Beginning Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease (1-3)
The early stages of Alzheimer’s are characterized by subtle changes in memory, mood and behavior. In stage one, however, it’s possible that no symptoms will appear at all. During this stage, doctors may perform tests and look for biological indicators that could signal the presence of the disease.
In stage two, slight memory loss can occur, which often leads to difficulty with the functions of day-to-day life.
Stage three is when the symptoms become much more noticeable. Memory changes become even more apparent, with patients forgetting familiar names, words and phrases. The disease can also affect seniors’ ability to plan and organize.
The Intermediate Stages (4-5)
Stage four of Alzheimer’s Disease is when people around the patient begin to notice that something is different, and that the disease is causing changes.
Characteristics of stage four include
- Difficulty remembering details of the past
- The deterioration of short-term memory
- Trouble managing money and finances
- Difficult with math — even basic figuring
Stage five brings even more noticeable changes, including:
- An inability to dress properly
- Confusion and an inability to remember basic life details
- Considerable difficulty managing basic chores and tasks around the home
Symptoms become more pronounced during stage five, with patients often requiring daily assistance. However, patients at these middle stages can continue to function normally and independently much of the time. Also, patients in stage five of Alzheimer’s will retain memories and recognition of close family members and friends.
The Latter Stages of Alzheimer’s (6-7)
The sixth and penultimate stage of Alzheimer’s Disease sees patients requiring constant supervision and care from professional caregivers.
Patients in stage six are known to wander aimlessly, experience severe memory difficulties and exhibit extreme behavioral (and personality) changes. They may also lose their ability to control their bladders.
The seventh and final stage of Alzheimer’s begins when death is imminent. Patients in this stage can no longer communicate, even though words may be uttered from time to time. Supervised care is absolutely necessary, and it’s recommended that family members and other loved ones seek special support for their emotional needs.
For Help With Alzheimer’s Disease in San Diego, CAs
Always Best Care of San Diego is here to help family members of Alzheimer’s patients and those who suffer from other forms of dementia. If you’re interested in learning how one of our compassionate caregivers can assist you and your loved one, call us today at (619) 599-8219 for more information.