Breaking Down the 7 Stages of Alzheimer's for New Caretakers

You just found out your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease and since hiring a stranger to care for your loved can be expensive and scary. You are taking on the task of caretaking yourself. The thought alone can be overwhelming. But when you have a proper understanding of the disease, it can help you approach caretaking in an efficient way. Below are seven stages of Alzheimer’s that can help you know the proper care your loved one will need.

 

  • Stage 1: Preclinical Alzheimer’s

    • In this stage the person experiences no memory loss and may not have Alzheimer’s. Your loved one’s doctor may advise that the disease is possible to show up if there is a history in your family.

  • Stage 2: Very Mild

    • During this stage your loved one can be experiencing memory loss that can be similar to normal forgetfulness for a person of older age. But there will be a faster progression in the forgetfulness with a person living with Alzheimer’s. Your loved one may forget familiar words or a loved one’s name. Caretaking in this stage is minimal as the person will still be able to partake in work or social activities. However,  you will have to keep a close eye on your loved one to watch for the progression of Alzheimer’s, as it may be hard to identify at this stage.  

  • Stage 3: Mild Decline

    • This stage you will notice mild decline in work quality, difficulty in coming up with the right word or name, or increased trouble in planning or organizing. If you’re helping your loved one at this stage. They may experience moderate denial and anxiety about the disease, and it may be best to help them seek counseling.

  • Stage 4: Mild Alzheimer’s Disease.

    • In this stage the disease is possible to be diagnosed by a doctor. Symptoms for this stage can include decreasing awareness of current or recent events, losing memory of personal history, or trouble with handling personal finances or bills. You may have to help them with writing checks, ordering food, or buying groceries.

  • Stage 5: Moderate Severe Decline

    • Your loved one can no longer live independently at this stage and may need help with daily tasks like cooking, paying bills, and picking out proper clothing for the weather because they are more confused or forgetful.

  • Stage 6: Moderate Severe

    • You may have to assist your loved one in personal hygiene, putting on clothes, and may lose control of their bowels. Memory loss is very severe by this stage and your loved one could have trouble counting backwards from 10. During this stage your loved one will need to be constantly cared for and watched.

  • Stage 7: Severe Alzheimer’s

    • Some people in this stage can become immobile and can recognize one word. Caretaking for your loved one in this stage will be very high as he/she will no longer be able to respond to their environment. You will have to help your loved one with daily tasks as well as eating or moving.

 

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are treatments that can help slow down the progression of the illness. There are also

 

that can help the person living with the disease be more comfortable. Let us know in the comments below what stage you’re loved one is currently at.

 

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