Understanding the dementia timeline is key to making thoughtful medical and personal decisions regarding memory care. As a caregiver in Miami-Dade, you may want to learn and recognize these signs during the early stages to help secure a diagnosis and review the common symptoms of moderate and late stages to help prepare adequately for the future. If you live with your senior parent and have already noticed the signs, you may want to seek help from caregivers at Advancare who have experience working with senior patients with dementia.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a general term used to describe several conditions with similar symptoms that affect the senior’s ability to think, remember, or make independent decisions in everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. While dementia is most common in senior adults, it is not part of normal aging. That means not all seniors have dementia in their late years. Dementia affects:
- Speech and communication
- Reasoning and judgment
- Focus and concentration
- Visual perception, causing hallucinations and difficulty differentiating colors
Stages of Dementia
The assessment tools used to determine a senior’s stage are guided by a rough outline. Keep in mind that some symptoms occur later than others. Others may appear in a different order, while others may appear and disappear. Some may not appear at all, and others may worsen over time. This is mainly because dementia manifests differently in every person and progression speed varies widely.
During the early stages of dementia, the person may still be able to live independently. They can work, drive and socialize. However, you may notice slight changes in their memory, such as forgetting things they would never forget to do before, and where they keep certain things. When it comes to their speech, they may struggle to find the right name or word to use. They may also, once in a while, make poor or bad judgments when doing things they did perfectly, such as measuring flour.
The middle stage is usually the longest and may last for many years. During this stage, the person’s symptoms may progress, and they may need help in their daily activities. Apart from speech and memory loss, you may also notice that the person suddenly becomes angry, frustrated, or happy. They can refuse to bathe, eat or go to bed when you ask them to. They may have difficulty expressing themselves and begin experiencing delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. During this stage, it’s essential to have a caregiver who can provide quality home care services and proper dementia care.
In the final stages of dementia, the seniors may completely lose their ability to interact or engage with the world, but they may be able to talk and answer questions. However, they may not express their thoughts, such as telling you where they are feeling pain. This stage requires complete 24/7 help with daily activities and personal care as the person gradually loses their ability to walk, sit or swallow.
The Importance of Health Care and Early Detection
Even if the stages of dementia aren’t the same for everyone, they can guide you on what to do and expect. You will want to be financially and emotionally prepared to care for the person and find ways to cope with behavior changes and symptoms.
If you need caregiving services in Miami, FL, our caregivers at Advancare provide specialized and affordable home care services. Contact us today to learn how our services can help your senior adult.Tags: Stages of Dementia