The numbers say it all. 1 in 3 seniors die from Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, more than 5 million Americans are living with it and this year, the disease will cost America more than $305 billion. But the question that most of us often choose to overlook is: how does Alzheimer’s disease progress?
Alzheimer’s disease generally has three stages: mild, moderate and severe. Here, we take a look at what happens during each stage and how memory assisted living helps patients with the disease get the best quality of life:
At this stage, the individual may still show little signs of the disease. He may not be aware yet that he is showing some signs of Alzheimer’s, but his family and friends will start to notice some changes and challenges that may prompt a consultation. But he is still able to function independently and perform self-care and social activities.
During a thorough medical interview, the doctor may be able to determine difficulties like challenges in performing usual tasks, problems coming up with the right name, difficulty remembering names of newly introduced people and misplacing an important object.
Lasting for years, this is the longest stage of the disease and it’s typically when the individual would require care in memory assisted living. In moderate Alzheimer’s, the symptoms are more pronounced including severe forgetfulness, changes in mood, disorientation with days and times, and even trouble controlling bladder and bowels.
The individual may also be at risk for wandering and he may have difficulties establishing a proper sleeping routine. This is why it’s not surprising that some patients with moderate Alzheimer’s may sleep during the day and become restless during the night.
In the final stage of the disease, the symptoms of dementia are already severe and the need for care in memory assisted living is inevitable. The individual is already unable to respond in his environment, engage in conversations and even control movement. He may also require round-the-clock assistance with self-care and activities of daily living.
Moreover, because he may experience challenges in physical abilities like sitting, walking and even swallowing, he is at risk for accidents, which is why it’s very important to have him assisted by a healthcare professional at this point. A lot of individuals at the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease are already more vulnerable to infections and are at risk for pneumonia.
The bottom line
The survival and progression rate of Alzheimer’s disease differs for each individual. But most people over 65 years old would survive for up to eight years after diagnosis. Some even live for 20 years, although most of this time will be spent in the most severe stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Every 65 seconds, someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the rate of individuals affected by the disease continues to rise rapidly. But while there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s, the best thing that families can do is to provide the right support and love to their loved ones suffering from the disease.
Richmont Senior Living is proud to serve Ashland, NE and the surrounding cities: Memphis, Springfield, South Bend, Greenwood, Murdock, Waverly, Murdock, Ithaca, and Chalco