Like the changing of the seasons, the progression of Alzheimer’s disease can be marked by a number of key differentiators. And although each individual experiences the disease uniquely, there are some commonalities prevalent that typically present in each stage. Compassionate Nursing Services of St. Louis offers the following signs for family caregivers to be aware of, in an effort to provide the most appropriate level of care for each stage.
Early (Mild) Stage: Those in the beginning stage of Alzheimer’s are still quite able to function independently in a number of areas, but problems with memory, concentration, and focus become apparent. The person may:
- Struggle to come up with the correct word for an object
- Forget names of people recently met
- Experience mild difficulty with completing tasks
- Misplacing objects
Middle (Moderate) Stage: Many seniors experience this stage for the longest period of time, often years, and progressively require more care. Behavioral issues may become apparent, including anger and stubbornness. Also commonly experienced:
- Increased memory loss, including forgetting personal information such as address, phone number, events from their own past history, the correct day and time, etc.
- Moodiness and the tendency to withdraw from social situations
- Compulsive or repetitive behaviors
- Restlessness at night and difficulties with maintaining typical sleep patterns
- Bladder and bowel control issues
Late (Severe) Stage: This final stage of Alzheimer’s brings the need for full-time, around-the-clock care to keep the person safe and to maintain personal care needs. Significant difficulties are noted in cognitive functioning, the ability to engage in conversations, and eventually, with movement control. Common in this stage:
- Loss of awareness of who and where they are
- Struggles with walking, sitting, swallowing
- Increased levels of sleep
- Increased susceptibility to infections
It’s important for family members to maintain a strong network of support throughout each stage of the disease, in order to provide the very best care for their loved one with Alzheimer’s, and for their own health and wellbeing.
Compassionate Nursing Services of St. Louis offers customized in-home Alzheimer’s and dementia care, partnering with family caregivers to provide as much or as little support as needed. In the early stage of the disease, this could involve a few hours each week of respite care, allowing family members a chance to take time for their own needs and to rest and recharge. In later stages, around-the-clock care can ensure the senior is safe and well cared for at all times, and that day-to-day tasks, such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry, and personal care for the senior are all taken care of – allowing families more quality time together.
To learn more, call on the Alzheimer’s care professionals at Compassionate Nursing Services. You can reach us by phone at 314-432-4312, or by answering a few simple questions via our online contact form. With Compassionate Nursing Services, you always have a trusted care team to walk beside you through the journey of Alzheimer’s. It helps to know you’re not alone!