Caring for a senior relative is a labor of love, and although some folks might claim ignorance is bliss, it is important for caregivers and other family members of those with Alzheimer’s to understand how the disease progresses. It will help family members better understand their senior loved one’s behaviors, as well as help caregivers provide the best care possible during each stage. Here, Summit Home Care Assistance breaks down the Alzheimer’s Association’s seven stages of Alzheimer’s.
In stage one, your senior loved one will show no memory impairment or express any symptoms of dementia. Because there are no symptoms early on, it makes diagnosing AD at this stage nearly impossible.
Stage two is characterized by minor memory lapses that may be attributed to signs of aging rather than AD. Similar to stage one, there will be no symptoms to dementia.
Friends and family members may notice he or she is having difficulty remembering names or locations, performing complex daily tasks, or losing objects. In many cases, doctors can detect problems with concentration or memory, but it can still be too early to administer a diagnosis.
Typically associated with early-stage Alzheimer’s, stage four is characterized by more intense characteristics of stage three. For instance, your loved one may forget recent events or their own personal history, or have a harder time with tasks like bill paying and planning dinner. Some seniors may begin having shifts in their mood or personality.
Considered mid-stage AD, when your loved one is in stage five he or she may begin needing help in their daily lives. For example, choosing appropriate clothing for the season. They will continue to exhibit lapses in memory, have difficulty performing math skills, and become confused about what day of the week it is or where they are.
In stage six, your loved one will require an increased amount of care as he or she may wander and be unable to complete hygiene activities like using the restroom. They may also experience profound personality shifts and lose awareness of their surroundings.
In the final stage of Alzheimer’s, your senior relative will require around-the-clock care as he or she may not be able to hold conversation, have difficulty eating and using the restroom, and experience loss of control of movement and reflexes.
Home Care Assistance of Summit knows the challenges of caring for an elderly relative with Alzheimer’s. One of the best things you can do for your loved one is prepare for the care he or she will need as they progress through the stages of AD. We are a top provider of in-home Alzheimer’s care in Summit, offering highly-trained caregivers and around-the-clock availability. For information on services available near you, call a qualified Care Manager at (908) 450-9400 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.