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The Stages of Dementia in Seniors

08/13/2017
nadhc-stages-dementia

Anyone can be a little forgetful at times. But if you care for a senior, it’s best to monitor their behavior and be mindful of the signs of dementia. When you begin to identify the stages of dementia, it’s easier to help with dementia prevention and slow its progression.

More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. We can better care for our elderly loved ones by understanding dementia and helping them maintain their memory health.

What Is Dementia?

“Dementia” is a term used to describe the general decline in mental ability. The mental ability decline is so severe, it actually affects the daily lives of those suffering from the disease. Because dementia is not a specific disease, various types of dementia occur. Alzheimer’s disease is the most commonly known type of dementia.

Symptoms vary from person to person. Here are some of the most common:

  • Impairment of reasoning and judgment
  • Impaired visual perception
  • Lost ability to focus and pay attention
  • Communication and language complications
  • Memory complications

Memory activities for brain health can help with keeping the brain functions working well. Even gardening has an affect on those who have dementia.

Stages of Dementia

The progression of dementia worsens further down the road. Because the early progression is slow, the beginning stages of dementia often get brushed off.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

As mentioned previously, the progression of dementia starts off slow. The first stage of dementia has the following symptoms:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Losing things often
  • Trouble with communication, such as coming up with words

Mild dementia

People living with dementia in this stage can still function independently, but they do experience memory lapses in their daily life. Common characteristics of this stage include:

  • Getting lost or misplacing objects
  • Memory loss of recent events
  • Trouble organizing or expressing thoughts
  • New withdrawn or subdued personality

Moderate dementia

During this stage of dementia, patients may require assistance, due to an inability to complete regular daily activities. Characteristics of moderate dementia include:

  • Increased confusion or poor judgment
  • Assistance with daily tasks
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Greater memory loss

Severe dementia

Severe dementia introduces the full decline of functionality. Patients may experience the loss of some physical capabilities once the diseases progresses to this stage. Further characteristics of severe dementia include:

  • Need of full daily assistance
  • Loss of physical capabilities, such as sitting, walking, and eventually the ability to swallow food and control the bladder and bowel functions
  • Loss of ability to communicate

Full Assistance for Dementia Patients

Is your elderly loved one suffering from severe dementia and needs full assistance? We can help care for them. At Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers, we have full caregiver assistance and elderly care programs for Alzheimer’s patients. Visit us today for a tour of our center!