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Sign up to the get fit newsletter
Sign up for the ''Get Fit'' Newsletter
  • Tips on managing Stress
  • Ways to stay motivated
  • The benefits of resistance training
  • How to improve your metabolism
  • Learn why "conventional" diets fail
  • How to target stubborn fat areas
  • Healthy and tasty recipes
  • What muscle soreness really means
  • Learn how exercise affects your mood
  • How to choose the right health club
  • Weight loss and diet myths revealed
  • Flexibility, how and when to stretch
  • How to build personal motivation
  • How to conquer procrastination
Email:
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  • Stages of Alzheimer’s
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Health and Fitness News

Stages of Alzheimer’s

What to expect as a caregiver of an Alzheimer’s patient.

Alzheimer’s. It’s one of the cruelest diseases out there. To watch a loved one lose their memories and the ability to take care of themselves is one of the hardest things someone can go through. Instead of placing their loved one in a facility that specializes in Alzheimer’s care, many people choose to care for their loved one in their own home for as long as they’re able. When they do this, spouses and children bear the burden and show great love as they put life on hold to care for a spouse or parent who can no longer care for themself.

Alzheimer’s caregivers are a special group of people. Are you one of them? Before deciding to care for an Alzheimer’s patient, here’s what you should know about the different stages of this progressive disease.

Early Stage

Symptoms are mild in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. At this point, a person is still able to function fairly independently. They may start forgetting words or names, misplacing objects, forgetting things they read, or have trouble organizing or planning.

The best way a caregiver can support their loved one in the early stages of Alzheimer’s is by being available and helping the loved one plan for the future. As the disease progresses, living independently may not be an option. What will the living situation be? Do bank accounts and other important accounts include the caregiver’s name?

If you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, write down their medical history. Make a plan for legal considerations, finances, and caregiving. Learn all you can about the disease. These are a few ways you can support someone in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

Middle Stage

As the disease progresses and dementia worsens, a person with Alzhiemer’s will require more care. The middle stage is usually the longest stage of the disease and can last for years. During this stage, a person with Alzheimer’s may get their words confused and not make sense. They may forget their past, what day it is, or where they are. Their actions may be strange and their personality may change. They may become belligerent, moody, or easily frustrated.

Some with Alzheimer’s become suspicious of people or develop compulsive behaviors. It’s common for them to withdraw from social situations. Simple, everyday tasks like getting dressed or going to the bathroom become more difficult. They may refuse to bathe, only eat food from a specific restaurant, wander off and get lost, or refuse to sleep at night.

At this point in their care, they can still function but need assistance. This can be mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting for a caregiver. For their own wellbeing, caregivers need regular breaks. Adult day care or in-home respite care for Alzheimer’s patients are great options. Be willing to accept help when it’s offered and don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Late Stage

Sadly, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The dementia symptoms progress over time until they become severe.

In the late and final stage of the disease, someone with Alzheimer’s may still be able to say words but is no longer able to have a conversation. They may not be aware of their surroundings and may have trouble walking, sitting, and even swallowing. They are increasingly vulnerable to illness.

Someone in the late stages of Alzheimer’s requires 24-hour care. Caregivers should take advantage of support services or hospice care.