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Alzheimer’s Disease: Its Progression & Stages

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Originally, practitioners believed Alzheimer’s had three phases. However, a more comprehensive analysis was offered by Dr. Barry Reisberg from New York University. He determined the disease process has as many as seven different phases. Here are the seven stages of Alzheimer’s you should know.

First Stage

During the first stage, some biological abnormalities start to develop in the brain. However, individuals may not exhibit any visible symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease during this stage.

If your aging parent is showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s a good idea to consider professional in-home care. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Naples, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Second Stage

Older adults might experience slight memory loss, which often includes not remembering where items were placed. During this phase, the lapses in memory are not serious and are often equated with normal aging. Family members may not notice any visible symptoms, and seniors are still able to do well on cognitive tests.

Third Stage

The damage taking place in the brain leads to visible cognitive issues. Older adults often display short-term memory loss and have difficulty with vocabulary. They may also seem disorganized, and personal items are lost more frequently. The degree of cognitive impairment is also exhibited on tests.

Fourth Stage

By the fourth stage of Alzheimer’s, seniors can no longer solve simple math equations, and short-term memory loss is more apparent. For example, many seniors cannot recall what happened early in the day or what they ate during meal times. Personal finances become too confusing and events in their personal history may become jumbled.

Fifth Stage

During the fifth stage, Alzheimer’s disease progresses to the point that seniors may require assistance with normal daily activities. Aging adults need help to ensure they are properly dressed, and they must be reminded to eat. By this stage, seniors may still remember personal hygiene habits, recognize loved ones, and be able to recall details about their past.

If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Naples elderly care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Sixth Stage

As older adults enter the sixth phase of Alzheimer’s disease, they may need constant supervision from a caregiver. Seniors are typically unaware of their location and only remember the faces of their immediate family members. At this point, they may not be able to recall information, and they require assistance with daily activities, including personal hygiene. Unless directed to the bathroom on a regular basis, seniors often experience incontinence. Personality changes often occur, along with episodes of agitation, anger, and paranoia. Behaviors are often displayed in the evening, which is referred to as sundowning.

Seventh Stage

During the final phase of the disease, seniors may no longer be able to communicate coherently. Some older adults are not aware of where they are, and they no longer recognize loved ones. Movement and mobility are often affected to the point of needing a wheelchair. Older adults may face difficulty swallowing, which necessitates dietary alterations.

Alzheimer’s disease can make it difficult for older adults to manage daily activities. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Naples seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. Call us at (239) 449-4701 to schedule a free in-home consultation.