The Stages Of Alzheimer’s Disease

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Are you feeling more forgetful lately? Is someone you love experiencing memory loss more often than usual? Find out more about Alzheimer’s disease and the symptoms you should be looking for in yourself and others.

RELATED:  Memory Lapses: What’s Normal And When To Seek Help

 

In This Article:

  1. What Is Alzheimer’s Disease
  2. What Is The Difference Between Having Alzheimer & Dementia
  3. Warning Signs To Look For
  4. Stages of Alzheimer’s
  5. Treatment & Living With Alzheimer’s

 

Learn More About Alzheimer’s Disease and What it Means For You

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Currently affecting more than six million Americans over the age of sixty-five, Alzheimer’s creates a ripple effect on families impacted. More research is being done annually to find earlier warning signs and better treatment, but here’s what we know right now. Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that mainly impacts the patient’s memory, thinking, and ability to carry out simple tasks.

 

What Is The Difference Between Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Dementia is a neurodegenerative disease that focuses on cognitive function, including remembering, logic and reason. Over time it will make simple tasks difficult, resulting in full-time care. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of Dementia, and the two are often used interchangeably. The most significant difference between the two is Dementia will only present in patients over sixty-five years old. Alzheimer’s has been found in patients as early as thirty years young.

 

Warning Signs Of Alzheimer’s Disease

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The biggest warning sign is loss of memory, but not just forgetfulness or being absent-minded. Specifically the loss of phrases, trouble finding the right word(s), or repetitive behavior from daily tasks. For example, struggling to find the word “coffee” or do functions at your job that you could typically do blindfolded. At first, it may just feel like an off day, but if you notice it happens more frequently, consult your family doctor.

RELATED: 6 Medical Complications Caused By Alzheimer’s

 

Stages Of Alzheimer’s Disease

The stages of Alzheimer’s Disease are broken down into three core stages with six varying levels of decline.

Early-stage Alzheimer’s Disease

Stage 1: The Beginning

In this first stage, you will second guess yourself. Everyone has forgetful days, and it’s normal to be off at work once in a while. Getting an early diagnosis can be the difference between different treatments. Trust your gut and talk to your family doctor.

Stage 2: Decline & Disorientation

As you begin to experience this decline, it will become difficult to handle money, remembering where everyday household goods are kept. You might find yourself feeling lost in their backyard. You may feel disoriented and also begin to feel frustrated with your behavior. It is normal for aggression or depression to set in before a diagnosis.

 

Middle-stage Alzheimer’s Disease

Stage 3: Wandering & Planning

In this first stage, you will second guess yourself. Everyone has forgetful days, and it’s normal to be off at work once in a while. Getting an early diagnosis can be the difference between different treatments. Trust your gut and talk to your family doctor.

Stage 4: Increase of the Previous Stage

As you begin to experience this decline, it will become difficult to handle money, remembering where everyday household goods are kept. You might find yourself feeling lost in their backyard. You may feel disoriented and also begin to feel frustrated with your behavior. It is normal for aggression or depression to set in before a diagnosis.

 

Late-stage Alzheimer’s Disease

Stage 5: Storytelling

As the person who has Alzheimer’s loses more recognition and memory, it is encouraged to do storytelling. Expressing memories from the past can be helpful to understand what year they believe they are living in and can also give closure to family members.

Stage 6: Support & Patience

In this last stage, grieving and planning for the future are encouraged. Find a local support group to speak with and make sure your loved one is comfortable. Your loved ones will not be able to express if they are hungry and thirsty, and full-time care will keep them on a schedule. They will no longer recognize themselves or their family members.

 

Treatment & Living With Alzheimer’s Disease

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While the F.D has approved several medications, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. Instead, treatments focus on maintaining cognitive skills and memory games to encourage brain function. Routines are vital and are paramount to continue living independently.

If you or someone you love has begun to exhibit signs of Alzheimer’s disease, talk to your family doctor on the next steps. Catching this disease early on will allow more chances for trials and different forms of treatment.

 

What medical advancements do you want to see for Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients? Let us know in the comments below your thoughts on medical treatments available. 

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