Dementia is a catchall term for memory, social, and thinking symptoms that disrupt the person’s daily function. Alzheimer’s Disease, for example, is one of the most common causes of dementia, but it is far from the only one. Having a loved one diagnosed with dementia can be a terrifying experience. Learning about the symptoms and stages of dementia, as well as dementia aftercare options, will help you better prepare for life with this disease.
Dementia can go through five stages, though these stages can vary depending on what part of the brain has been affected. The dementia stages include:
- No Impairment
No signs of dementia, but tests may alert the doctor to a potential problem.
- Questionable Impairment
Signs of slight memory loss is there, but nothing that makes a major impact on their daily life.
- Mild Impairment
This is the stage when disruptions to the sufferer’s daily life typically begins. Problems keeping up with personal care and difficulty with directions are two common signs that your loved one is in the dementia stage. At this stage, some patients can still live in their home, but may require the help of light housekeeping services.
- Moderate Impairment
The fourth dementia stage usually causes issues with their ability to maintain personal hygiene and their short-term memory is affected.
- Severe Impairment
At this stage of dementia your loved one doesn’t have the ability to care for themselves and will need the help of a dementia caregiver. Reach out to Advancare, the trusted caregivers in Miami-Dade Advancare, immediately if your loved one has severe impairment.
What to Expect
The first thing to expect with dementia is short-term memory loss. This loss will start off small and gradually become worse. As the disease worsens, forgetfulness will become more severe, and they may even forget their name, who their family members are, and where they live. While in the early dementia stages, your loved one will most like could care for themselves. Unfortunately, how long a dementia patient can maintain their independence varies greatly from one person to the next. For some, the disease progresses rapidly, while others live for years without needing help from a caregiver.
How to Diagnose Dementia in Miami
Diagnosing dementia doesn’t rely on one single test. Instead, doctors use the patients’ medical history, laboratory tests, behavior, physical examination, and changes to the person’s daily functions and characteristics. Another thing to remember is that while doctors can diagnose dementia with certainty, it is harder for them to determine what type of dementia the patient has. This is because most types of dementia have the same or similar brain changes and symptoms.
When to Call a Professional
Knowing when the right time to call a professional for a dementia patient will ensure they have the highest quality of life. If they require 24-hour supervision and care, are unable to speak or control their movements, or are battling an infection, then you should seek the help of dementia care professionals. Consult with their doctor if you’re still unsure if it is the right time to place your loved one in a Miami-Dade aftercare home.
If you need help caring for a loved one with dementia and don’t know where to turn, call Advancare, the trusted caregivers in Miami-Dade, today. Our staff is happy to discuss what aftercare options we have for people dealing with dementia and how we can help them, as well as their family.