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Dementia and the 5 Stages of Alzheimer’s

March 30, 2016

Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease can be overwhelming and scary especially when you don’t know what to expect as the disease progresses. Many wonder what is going to happen and how they will handle the changes. Not everyone progresses the same way with Alzheimer’s, but this is a general overview of the progression of the disease.

Stage 1
Mild memory problems will start to occur and may seem like absentmindedness that will not be as readily noticed to others. Often the person is successful at hiding the symptoms, but it becomes more difficult. They may be more confused around new surroundings and social situations. They may also begin to misplace objects or put them in strange places.
Stage 2
Your memory problems will become more obvious to others. Depression becomes more prominent and you begin to lose insight into your memory problems. They may have trouble recalling current events.
Stage 3
As the memory continues to decline, paranoia, anger and denial may become more prevalent. Memory will fluctuate daily or even hourly and they will still deny they are having any problems. They will start to withdraw from social activities and their conversation may become disjointed and irrelevant.
Stage 4
Language skills becomes reduced and memory impairment becomes so severe that everything can seem threatening and unfamiliar. The person actually begins to look sick with fragmented memories, behavioral problems, agitation, slow shuffling, wandering, fear of bathing and incontinence. They don’t recognize the body’s signals.
Stage 5
The final stage is called “the Long Goodbye”. The brain shuts down and motor skills diminish and they can no longer chew, swallow, walk, sit up, or control bowel movements. The person finally becomes unresponsive, lapses into a coma and finally dies.

Alzheimer’s affects everyone in the family from the spouse to the children and even friends. Family members cannot shut down and must continue providing care. There are important issues to be addressed with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis such as medical needs, legal and financial matters. One of the best tools is being prepared as issues arise.

If you need an in home care giver for your elderly loved one in Chapel Hill or Durham, we can help.
Care givers are screened and go through rigorous background checks. Call Acorn today!

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