Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that progresses over time. On average, seniors may live from four to eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, though some may live a decade or longer with the disease. There are three different stages of Alzheimer’s disease. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, learning what to expect in each stage can help you provide better care to him or her.
Stage One: Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease begins to develop in the brain years before any symptoms are present. Some studies have shown these changes in the brain may begin as many as 20 years prior to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. New imaging technology is able to identify amyloid beta protein deposits in the brain. These protein deposits are a mark of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers are working to identify biomarkers that will be able to confirm an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
As stage one develops, you may notice your loved one occasionally forgets names or the location of a valuable object. However, these symptoms are so mild that a medical examination wouldn’t be able to offer a clear diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
For reliable Alzheimer’s home care, Barrie families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s home care needs.
Stage Two: Mild to Moderate Cognitive Decline
The second stage of Alzheimer’s disease typically lasts from two to four years. This is the stage where your loved one might be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, as the symptoms are much more pronounced. In the brain, the nerve cells may have become damaged, which may make it difficult for your loved one to express him or herself. As your loved one progresses in this stage from mild to moderate cognitive decline, he or she may need to have additional help provided by a caregiver.
During this stage, you may notice your loved one is moodier or withdrawn, and he or she may also get angry easily. Your loved one might have increased difficulty remembering names of people and words while speaking. Social situations might cause an increased amount of anxiety. Your loved one may also forget details about his or her personal history, phone number, or address and become confused about where he or she is or what he or she is doing. At the end of this stage, your loved one may spend a lot of time in bed due to rigid muscles and abnormal reflexes.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care Barrie, ON, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Stage Three: Severe Cognitive Decline
The final stage of Alzheimer’s disease is typically the longest and most severe and accounts for up to 40 percent of the time span of the disease. As the brain continues to be affected, your loved one may lose the ability to communicate with others and care for him or herself independently. As this stage progresses, your loved one may need around-the-clock care.
Your loved one may not be able to remember past experiences, and he or she may no longer be able to recollect recent experiences as well. Eventually, your loved one may have difficulty walking, sitting up, swallowing, and controlling the bowels in this stage. Your loved one may also become more vulnerable to infections, such as influenza and pneumonia, as the immune system is affected.
Aging adults with Alzheimer’s or other age-related diseases might need extra help at home. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Barrie senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. Call Home Care Assistance today at 705-503-2273 to schedule a free consultation.