Memory lapses include misplacing your car keys, calling your neighbour by the wrong name, and forgetting to buy bread at the grocery store. However, as people become older, forgetfulness becomes more common, and it's natural to wonder what's normal — whether it's an indication of Alzheimer's disease.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative disease that develops slowly and worsens with time, usually over several years. It affects memory, thinking, problem-solving, language, personality, and movement as the disease progresses. Each person's time and intensity may vary. Determining which stage your beloved is in can be challenging because stages might overlap and are only meant to be used as a guideline.
Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
Stage 1: No Impairment
Changes in the brain linked to Alzheimer's occur before symptoms appear, as with many disorders. This stage, known as 'pre-clinical Alzheimer's disease,' is thought to begin 10 to 15 years before symptoms appear.
Stage 2: Basic Forgetfulness
An individual with Alzheimer's disease begins to suffer the ordinary forgetfulness of ageing at this stage. They can lose track of where they put their car keys or handbag. Neither the individual's family nor their physician is likely to detect these signs.
Stage 3: Noticeable Memory Difficulties
In stage three, increased forgetting and poor performance are likely to be recognized by the person's family members. Stage three lasts an average of seven years before dementia appears. This stage is marked by greater forgetfulness as well as a small difficulty focusing or concentrating. They may become disoriented or have trouble finding the appropriate words to communicate.
Stage 4: More Than Memory Loss
During this stage, which might endure for years, your loved one will have significant memory problems. They may recall important aspects of their lives, such as whom they are married to and reside. Their recollection of events from the distant past is usually far better than their remember of current events.
Stage 5: Decreased Independence
Beginning in stage five, major memory deficits appear, and patients in this stage of the disease may require assistance with daily activities. Memory loss is significant at this stage. People frequently forget important details that affect their everyday lives, such as their home address or phone number. They may be unable to determine their location or the time of day. Stage five lasts around a year and a half on average.
Stage 6: Severe Symptoms
During this time, it may also be difficult to communicate. Although your loved one may still use words and phrases, communicating particular concepts can be difficult, such as where they're in pain. Significant personality changes, such as heightened anxiety, delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia, may persist. Your loved one may grow increasingly irritated with you as their independence declines.
Stage 7: Lack of Physical Control
As their brain struggles to communicate and distribute tasks properly, your loved one's body may begin to shut down at this point. Your loved one's needs will considerably increase at this point. They may require round-the-clock assistance with walking, sitting, and swallowing. Their bodies can become vulnerable to illnesses such as pneumonia as a result of their limited mobility.
Serenity Springs Secured Alzheimer's/Memory Care provides specialized care and programming for people with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of memory loss. Our memory care facility works as part of an Assisted Living community and provides a safe and secure environment.