Are You Confused Yet About The Stages Of Alzheimer

If you are affected by Alzheimer’s you are probably familiar with the stages of the disease or at least have heard a doctor mention something about the stages. Are you confused about what the stages are or what they mean? Hopefully reading this article will clear up a few things for you and make dealing with the disease as it pertains to stages and symptoms a little easier.

As you probably know already, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease by nature and the symptoms associated with the disease worsen slowly over time. The changes in the afflicted individual’s memory, behavior and physical abilities will noticeably decline over time from being mild and hardly noticeable to being obvious that the individual needs a diagnosis and then the final stage where the individual is in dire need of supervision and assistance for total personal care. There are basically three stages to the disease mild, moderate and severe. There are common changes experienced in each of the three stages although individuals may not experience all of the symptoms or the degree of intensity as others in the same stage there are basic similarities in the progression from one stage to the next and some commonly recognized traits of Alzheimer’s that medical professionals and others can easily recognize in each of the three stages.

Mild Stage Changes to Expect:

The individual in the mild stage of Alzheimer’s may not even have been diagnosed yet or may be in the process of being diagnosed. The individual will begin to lose short-term, recent memories. There will be a slow decline in the ability to make decisions that require judgment such as those in the financial area. There will be times when it is difficult to learn new things or make new memories. The individual may start to notice that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the right words when speaking or writing and may even compensate by not initiating or participating in conversations or by not continuing written correspondence, as may be the usual pattern to do. The attention span may become shorter and thus the individual loses interest in activities even favorite ones. He/she may become lost when going to familiar places or have difficulty organizing thoughts or thinking in a logical fashion. It may take the person longer to do routine chores and may even become unusually upset if things are out of place, or unexpected from the normal routine. It is common for the person who is in this mild stage of Alzheimer’s to forget where they have placed items or not be able to find them because they have placed them in odd places.

Moderate Stage Changes to Expect:

An individual will usually have been given the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease by the time they reach the moderate stage of the disease unless they have been a loner who is not receiving medical care. There is a noticeable change in the appearance, hygiene and sleep pattern of the individual in the moderate stage of Alzheimer’s. The individual often will confuse the identity of known individual such as thinking they are talking to a sibling when they are speaking with a son or daughter. They may experience safety issues when left alone such as leaving the stove on, or wondering around the streets lost, experiencing falls or they may self-neglect or exploit their personal body or space, possibly participating in risky sexual behavior or cheating and gambling when these behaviors are out of character. Repetitive actions like tearing paper over and over or repeating the same phrase numerous times. Is often restless especially in the late afternoon or evening. Cannot complete tasks or follow written instructions. May engage in inappropriate behavior such as hitting, kicking, biting, screaming or grabbing at others. May awaken at night thinking it is daytime and time to go to work. May not be able to distinguish private behavior anymore and might do things in public such as getting undressed completely or even masturbate or do other private behaviors in public places.

Severe Stage Changes to Expect:

Individuals in the severe stage of Alzheimer’s are usually hospitalized or in a nursing home or fulltime care facility. They do not recognize familiar faces even of spouses, sons or daughters. Speech patterns are not recognizable but sound more like gibberish or they become mute. They often refuse to eat because swallowing becomes difficult and they can choke easily. They also have no control over bladder or bowel habits (are incontinent). They usually lose weight. The skin can be damaged easily as it becomes thin. May not be able to stand or sit up. Individuals in the severe or sometimes called the last stage of Alzheimer’s typically sleep more, may have seizures, frequent infections and may also fall out of bed, or if they still are mobile (which most are not) may fall when walking. They need total personal care (assistance eating, dressing, bathing).

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