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Understanding the Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, meaning that its symptoms will worsen over time. Because the stages of Alzheimer’s range from practically no definitive symptoms to clearly detectable personality changes and loss of most cognitive functions, Home Care Assistance of Toronto, ON wanted to share some information about each stage so that families of seniors with Alzheimer’s know how to best prepare for future care needs.

Early Stages

The early stages of Alzheimer’s are characterized by minor memory-related issues, such as misplacing keys or forgetting a few things here and there. Because the early stages often only involve occasional forgetfulness that could be associated with the normal aging process, family members and friends can easily overlook the warning signs of the disease. Even during a medical examination, it can be difficult to diagnose vague symptoms as Alzheimer’s.

Mild Cognitive Decline

As the early stages of Alzheimer’s progress, friends, family and co-workers may notice a person not remembering names or forgetting to do certain tasks. Doctors will typically conduct a detailed interview to confirm memory and concentration problems, making an attempt to rule out other possible causes before making a diagnosis.

Mid-Stage Alzheimer’s

At this point, memory issues are more pronounced and a person with Alzheimer’s may become moody and socially withdrawn, have trouble sleeping or have difficulty completing tasks like planning a dinner or paying bills. Assistance from family members or an hourly Toronto caregiver may be required for daily tasks such as going to the bathroom and eating.

Late-Stage Alzheimer’s

During advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, patients frequently lose any perspective of what’s going on around them. In the late stages of the disease, patients need assistance with practically all functions along with constant supervision to prevent common symptoms of late-stage Alzheimer’s such as sundowning and wandering.

Finding Care for Each Stage of Alzheimer’s

It’s difficult to place a patient in any one stage since stages sometimes overlap, with some individuals having good days with little or no difficulty and days when symptoms are more noticeable. While families may be able to provide some assistance in the early stages, the complex care needs of a senior with Alzheimer’s will likely need to be helped from a trained and professional Alzheimer’s caregiver.

If you are interested in learning more about Toronto Alzheimer’s care from professional caregivers, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Located in Toronto, we serve the local area, Etobicoke and surrounding communities. Reach out to us today at 416-488-8777 and speak with a friendly Care Manager to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.