Dementia Stages

Dementia Symptoms and Progression of the Disease

The dementia stages often overlap and sometimes symptoms can be related to reversible medical condition. But some causes of dementia are irreversible.

The idea that your loved one has dementia can be overwhelming and the process of managing behaviors in the home setting frustrating for all involved.

Knowing what to expect and what you can do through the stages of dementia can help as you navigate through this progressive and heart breaking disease.

Dementia symptoms can be some of the most difficult parts of home care.

But if you can review the symtoms and understand not only the cause, but also how to manage the symptoms, you will be able to handle the progression of this disease a little easier.

Memory loss is the symptom that frightens us the most.

When is memory loss something to worry about?

The best way to know is to understand how to define dementia.

The next step is understand exactly what short term memory loss means. Short term memory loss is usually present at the beginning dementia stages.

What can you expect through the different stages of dementia?

Symptoms of dementia progress and change during the different stages. Learn what to expect during each stage below.

The progession of the disease itself can be slow and insiduous and sometimes the stages of dementia can overlap.

There are medical conditions that could be causing the dementia, or there could be irreversible causes of dementia.

All reversible causes, such as medication reaction, infection or electrolyte imbalances, should be ruled out by the doctor prior to a diagnosis of irreversible dementia.

The dementia stages are not easily divided into categories. Everyone progresses at a different rate but there are some specific things you can expect along the way.

It also can help to know what to expect from the medical community during the dementia stages.

The more you know and understand what to expect, the more you can help yourself and your loved one with this diagnosis.

Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild cognitive impairment is the first of the dementia stages. It can be easily overlooked, especially if you don't have daily contact with your loved one. It can also be evident one day, but not the next.

Know what to be looking for and how to help you loved one through the process.

Moderate Cognitive Impairment

Moderate cognitive impairment is usually more visible, but it can still be hidden, especially if there is someone compensating for the progressive decline.

Oftentimes, people the closest are in denial and you may not notice the symptoms of dementia until circumstances change for your loved one.

Severe Cognitive Impairment

One of the last of the dementia stages involved severe cognitive impairment. At this point, symptoms of dementia are obvious both to those people close to the patient and even distant friends and family.

Caring for your loved one at home during this stage of dementia can be especially difficult. If at all possible, try to get yourself some help from either other family members or even home care assistance from an agency.

End Stage Dementia

The last stage of dementia is end stage dementia. It is at this point that you may see a rapid decline. Often, people forget even how to swallow and communicate at all.

This may be an appropriate time to call in hospice to help. I can not say enough positive things about hospice and the services they provide. Hospice benefits are a part of the Medicare program so make sure you are taking advantages of it.

Once you know and understand what to expect as your loved one progresses through the dementia stages, you can begin to understand more what your role will be.

It is not easy. Dementia is a progressive, terminal disease process that is heart breaking to witness in a loved one.

If you have questions on how to manage specific dementia behaviors, please contact me directly and will do all I can to provide you with a confidential evaluation and offer tips you can implement to make your life a little easier.

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