There are millions of people around the world suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s comforting to know that all year round people are building awareness to this awful disease.
Although June and November are designated to Alzheimer’s Awareness, families, scientists and people world wide continue to help raise awareness and search for a cure. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia which specifically affects certain parts of the brain. These brain functions control your memory. language and your thoughts. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s include debilitated thought, speech & confusion. As studies have shown, Alzheimer’s is not a curable disease.
Let’s Look At a Few Signs & Symptoms of This Disease:
- Memory loss:
- Loss of Problem Solving & Planning Skills:
- They may experience difficulty completing tasks:
- They may become confused about where they are/the time:
- They may have difficulty understanding images etc.
- Mix Up of Words:
- Misplacing things will become quite common:
- They become unable to make good judgement:
- They start shying away from crowds or socializing all together:
- Their mood and personality starts changing:
Here Are The 3 Stages of Alzheimer’s Diseases
Stage 1: MILD ALZHEIMER’S – This is the “Early Stage”
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, both family & friends may start to notice that their loved one is experiencing difficulty remembering things like familiar words or finding everyday items. If you are a caring for your loved one or you’re a hired caregiver, there are few ways you can help them. Most individuals are still independent at the first stage. Your role as a caregiver is mainly to provide support. Companionship is very important at this first stage. They may need help with going to appointments, managing their finances, traveling to places to run errands, taking their medicine, keeping track of their medication and also help remembering certain words or names. Try to keep in mind that you want to still allow them to be as independent as possible. Being there for them and communicating with them to know when they need help is best.
Stage 2: MODERATE ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE – This is the “Middle Stage”
The middle stage is usually the longest out of all 3 stages. Some people affected by this disease can stay in this stage for many years. As this disease progresses, they will need more care from family members or a hired caregiver. Becoming more confused, getting angry or frustrated, and mixing up words is a part of this stage. Your loved one needs you to be patient and understanding with them. Loosing brain function for anyone is very upsetting, so be sure to see this stage from their point of view. How would you want to be cared for if the situation were reversed. Loosing your independence is very hard to deal with. Because it’s an uncontrollable progression, it can be very frustrating for someone in this stage.
Stage 3: SEVERE ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE – This is the “Late Stage”
In the 3rd and final stage of Alzheimer’s, you will begin to notice personality changes your loved one. They will need help with most of their daily activities. Sharing their emotions will become a lot more difficult, however they may still use some words and phrases. The person in your care will need intense care 24/7. It’s important to note that this stage can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years. Your role as a caregiver at this stage will be to preserve their dignity and their quality of life. From getting dressed, to eating, to taking a walk (even around the house), they will need assistance with all of these.
Here are a few ways you can connect with and help your loved one (or the person in your care if you are a hired caregiver):
• You can play their favorite song or music
• You can read to them from their favorite books/magazines etc.
• You can show them old photos of friends/family or just memories
• You can prepare some of their favorite meals
• You can comb/brush/style their hair
• You can enjoy the cool breeze outside with them as you just sit and relax
Remember that although they are in the final stage, research shows that some core part of themselves is still there. Even though they are unable to communicate in this stage, you may be able to reach and connect with them on some level.
If you found this blog post helpful, please share it with a friend, we hope to spread awareness of this disease to as many people as possible.