There are different stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Each stage is part of the disease progressing. Unfortunately, this often means the disease gets worse over the years. The shifts are due, in part, to the disease impacting different parts of your brain at different points in the development of the disease.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, talking with a counselor can help you and your family to understand the impacts the disease. You can learn how to cope. Dementia can be debilitating and frightening, support can help.
Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
- mild cognitive impairment
- mild dementia
- moderate dementia
- severe dementia
During the preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, no symptoms are outwardly noticeable but changes are happening internally. While most are unaware of these developments, scientific advancements are striving to help identify the nature of the illness earlier. In addition, genetic tests and new imaging techniques are helping to see when there is an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.
The first changes people with Alzheimer’s might notice is mild cognitive impairment. This means there are mild adjustments in an individual’s thought process and memory. An example of this is when small memory lapses begin, such as forgetting appointments or recent conversations. At times, people can live through this stage without diagnosis.
Dementia from Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s is usually diagnosed when dementia begins. This is because those around the person are more likely notice a deterioration in day-to-day living.
In the mild dementia stage, individuals may ask a question repeatedly. They may also have issues with problem solving and be be quick to anger. Some also lose the ability to express themselves clearly and may regularly lose or misplace items.
Mild dementia slowly leads to moderate dementia. At this stage, it may become clear the individual needs more care. This can be for a variety of reasons including an escalation in confusion, not recognizing loved ones, or wandering away from their home.
In addition to confusion, there can be more memory loss in the moderate stage. So, there can be an increased need of assistance as the ability to self-care reduces. There can also be increased shifts in personality. This can be a difficult time as loved ones don’t recognize the personality of a family member who is forgetful, confused, and agitated.
When dementia is severe, it is likely the individual can no longer communicate and will have lost an array of physical abilities.
If you are a caregiver for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, it is likely you have questions about how to cope with your loved one’s declining health. Often, there is increased anxiety about daily life, personality changes, and more when living with someone with Alzheimer’s.
Getting to know the stages of Alzheimer’s can help. And having someone to talk through your problems with is important, too. You are not alone. You can learn how to effectively deal with all of these stresses. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today.