Sep 14, 2018 by Garrett Sullivan
We want to welcome you back to part two of our four-part Alzheimer’s Awareness Month series. This week, we will be taking a closer look at how Alzheimer’s disease progresses and how you can care for your loved one who has been diagnosed with it.
In case you missed it:
Alzheimer’s disease is not a fast progressing disease and it progresses quite slowly, and the symptoms will gradually get worse over time. There are three main stages of the disease, which include early, middle, and late. The rate of progression of the disease will differ between all individuals but the stages of the disease help to give care providers a better idea of what your loved one’s abilities are. It is easier to create a proper Alzheimer’s care plan for your loved one when we know what stage they are in.
The first stages of Alzheimer’s can include symptoms such as your loved one having trouble forming sentences, forgetting new information, and mixing up their words. Individuals who are in this stage are typically able to live on their own.
While your loved one may be able to do a lot on their own, this is the time for you to start planning for their future care. You should take time to organize your loved one’s finances and get their legal affairs in order. This is also a wonderful time for you to create a daily routine for your loved one as this will allow them to remember what the plan is for the day. This will avoid frustration too. The amount of Alzheimer’s care that must be provided will depend on your loved one’s needs at this stage.
This is the longest stage of Alzheimer’s and this is when most symptoms really come to fruition and you will notice a change in your loved one’s daily life and routine. This stems from their inability to be able to properly express their emotions and thoughts. Professional help is often sought during this time.
It can be difficult to care for your loved one during this stage and care will require patience, time, and expertise. You will likely need to help your loved one with their daily needs such as cooking, bathing, and housework. There are safety measures you also want to take such as making sure there are no fall risks in the home. It is important to try and avoid frustration as your loved one will be able to read your emotions. Remember, this time is just as difficult for them as it is for you.
Changes in the late stages are severe and will impact your loved one’s life. Your loved one may experience a decline in their mental or physical health and you may notice their mood changes too. The brain starts to deteriorate in this stage and can lead to the loss of awareness of needs and environment. Around the clock care is usually required at this point.
Your loved one will need someone to remain with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During this stage, the aim of the Alzheimer’s care is to keep your loved one as comfortable as possible. You want to make sure you are on the lookout for signs of illness and pain too. Seniors should be monitored for food and liquid intake to ensure proper nutrition and hydration.
There is help there for you. You must take care of yourself first to be able to provide the proper care to your loved one. If you find you are in need of any help, do turn to respite care, as you will have the opportunity to get the rest you need and even run errands throughout the day.
Comfort Keepers of Madison, CT is proud to be a part of the Walk To End Alzheimer’s. This walk is held by the Alzheimer’s Association and is in over 600 communities nationwide. To learn more, donate, or walk, do visit our page.
Date: Sunday, September 30th
Place: Lighthouse Point Park
2 Lighthouse Road
New Haven, CT 06512
Time: Registration at 8:30 am
Ceremony at 10 am
Walk at 10:30 am
Route Length: 2 miles
Come back next week to learn more about how Alzheimer’s affects the brain.