Body Languagestop And Face Them
Next, we have to think about posture. When someone lacks memory skills, it changes how they interpret gesture and posture. Suppose Im making sandwiches for lunch and my husband walks into the kitchen and asks what Im doing. If he isnt experiencing dementia, I dont need to stop and turn around to face him. I can simply direct a brief answer over my shoulder, because if hes not experiencing dementia our previous conversations and exchanges will be there in his mind to temper my lack of attention during this moment.
However, if hes experiencing dementia, he will by default interpret my posture as dismissive, because for him its our first interaction and for him my posture will speak louder than my words. So, if my husband is experiencing dementia I need to pause and turn to look at himand make eye contactto avoid inadvertently hurting his feelings.
How Quickly Does Dementia Progress
The speed at which dementia progresses varies a lot from person to person because of factors such as:
- the type of dementia for example, Alzheimers disease tends to progress more slowly than the other types
- a persons age for example, Alzheimers disease generally progresses more slowly in older people than in younger people
- other long-term health problems dementia tends to progress more quickly if the person is living with other conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, particularly if these are not well-managed
- delirium a medical condition that starts suddenly .
There is no way to be sure how quickly a persons dementia will progress. Some people with dementia will need support very soon after their diagnosis. In contrast, others will stay independent for several years.
Duration Of Stages: How Long Do The Stage Of Alzheimers / Dementia Last
No two people with dementia experience the disease exactly the same way, and the rate of progression will vary by person and type of dementia. In addition, it is not uncommon for individuals to have mixed dementia, meaning they have more than one type. That said, there is a natural course of the disease, and over time the capabilities of all persons with dementia will worsen. Eventually, the ability to function goes away. Keep in mind that changes in the brain from dementia begin years before diagnosis, when there are no outward symptoms. This makes it difficult to know how much time a person has left, though there are ways to come close to knowing life expectancy.
|Life Expectancy by Dementia Type|
|2 to 8 years following pronounced symptoms|
Mild DementiaIn this early stage of dementia, an individual can function rather independently, and often is still able to drive and maintain a social life. Symptoms may be attributed to the normal process of aging. There might be slight lapses in memory, such as misplacing eyeglasses or having difficulty finding the right word. Other difficulties may include issues with planning, organizing, concentrating on tasks, or accomplishing tasks at work. This early stage of dementia, on average, lasts between 2 and 4 years.
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Caregiving In The Middle Stages
According to the Alzheimers Association, this can be the most prolonged period you will face as a caregiver. The symptoms associated with the middle stage can continue for most of your loved ones later years. During this time, you will need to learn to develop patience, flexibility, and understanding as their day-to-day functions become more difficult to achieve. Your loved one might need assistance with ADLs, act out in strange ways, or grow frustrated and angry with you, which can be stressful. Be sure to take care of yourself and reach out to family, friends, and other support services to make this transition smoother.
The Early Stages Of Dementia: Noticeable Cognitive Decline
A person is not typically diagnosed with dementia until theyre at stage 4 or beyond. This is when medical professionals and caregivers notice personality changes, as well as cognitive impairment.
Dementia stage 4: moderate cognitive decline
At this point, a person has clear, visible signs of mental impairment. While its considered mild or early stage dementia, the medical terminology for the fourth of the seven stages of dementia is moderate cognitive decline.
Doctors and caregivers will likely notice a worsening of stage 3 dementia symptoms, such as difficulties with language, problem-solving, and travel.
Stage 4 dementia symptoms
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We Make Them Angry Without Realizing It
Either dementia makes people so crazy that they feel angry and upset for no reason at all, or there is something causing people to feel angry and combative when they are experiencing dementia. During the past decade I spent a lot of time with people whore experiencing dementia, and I soon realized that the second statement is true, not the first. They were not crazy. I was the problemI was making them angry without realizing it. I had to understand what I was doing wrong and change it if I wanted them to stop being angry and mean to me.
Symptoms Specific To Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Dementia with Lewy bodies has many of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and people with the condition typically also experience:
- periods of being alert or drowsy, or fluctuating levels of confusion
- visual hallucinations
- becoming slower in their physical movements
- repeated falls and fainting
Read more about dementia with Lewy bodies.
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Dying From Dementia With Late
The death of your loved one can be a hard concept to wrap your head around and accept. But knowing what to expect can help you when your loved one has late-stage dementia. It might help to understand what’s coming in the future so you can prepare emotionally and practically.
This article explains how dementia progresses and what happens during late-stage dementia.
Stage : Mild Dementia
At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood. Denial of symptoms as a defense mechanism is commonly seen in stage 4. Behaviors to look for include:
- Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
- Difficulty recognizing faces and people
In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations. However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress or anxiety.
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We Can Manage Our Moodsthey Cannot Manage Theirs
When we are not experiencing dementia and find ourselves upset by an experience or situation, we can evaluate, compare, and consider. We can choose to avoid being in a bad mood and we can choose to not inflict it on our companions. For example, if Im late for an appointment and the car ahead of me is driving slower than the speed limit, I might feel irritated and frustrated but I have the skills necessary to change that feeling before it affects my mood. I can tell myself that Im late due to my own lack of planning, that other people cant be expected to hurry to accommodate me, and that its too nice a day to be in a bad mood. I can do that with my memory skills and my rational thinking skills and change the negativity Im beginning to feel back into a positive mood. But when were experiencing dementia, we cant do any of that.
So, with dementia in the picture, people cant help taking everything personally, and they lack the skills to change the moods that result when they feel hurt or betrayed or taken advantage of.But theres more to think about. It gets both worseand better. Theres a third truth which is the key to avoiding combative and aggressive behaviors with dementia. When we are experiencing dementia, we cannot choose our own moods.
Caring For A Person With Late
If you are caring at home for someone who is in the later stages of dementia the Aged Care Assessment Team can help with advice and referrals for all aspects of care. You can contact your nearest ACAT by calling the number listed in the Age Page of your telephone directory. Your doctor or hospital can also help you to contact your local ACAT.
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How To Treat And Prevent Alcoholic Dementia
Alcohol dementia treatment can be quite stressful for patients to undertake, but it is necessary to prevent more dangerous health problems and even death. The alcoholism treatment consists of IV therapies and infusions which attempt to reestablish the proper nutritional balance of the body. Patients need to stay in clinics or hospitals for certain periods where they will be closely monitored and treated. Alcohol must be avoided at all costs during the treatment period, a thing which most alcohol abusers find very hard to do. This happens because alcohol addicts have become so used to this toxic substance that the body craves it regularly. Alcoholism support groups are very helpful in these cases.
Dementia from alcohol abuse can also be treated with Thiamine therapy which brings the much-needed nutrients back into a sufferers body. This treatment improves the neurological functioning of the patient and prevents dementia from advancing to more dangerous stages. Patients must also receive proper counsel from professional therapists to discover the root causes of their alcohol addiction and to eliminate them. If proper treatment is administered on time, alcoholic abusers might have a chance of living an alcohol-free and happy life. The rehabilitation facility for alcoholics is the best option to contact to learn more about the recovery process.
You Struggle To Recall What You Just Read
Most dementia symptoms will have an affect on your memory, in some way, shape, or form. So it makes sense it can impact your ability to read â and remember what you just read â as well.
As Zerling says, many people with early-onset dementia find that they need to start taking notes while they’re reading, in order to remember what’s going on in the story.
Taking notes, of course, can be a good way to keep track or information, especially if you’re studying. And thus it isn’t a surefire sign of dementia. But if your note-taking is due to a newly developed memory problem, it may a symptom worth looking into.
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What Medications Are Available To Treat Dementia
Drugs approved for the most common form of dementia, Alzheimers disease, are discussed below. These drugs are also used to treat people with some of the other forms of dementia.
- cholinesterase inhibitors
- NMDA receptor antagonist memantine
These two classes of drugs affect different chemical processes in the brain. Both classes have been shown to provide some benefit in improving or stabilizing memory function in some patients. Although none of these drugs appear to stop the progression of the underlying disease, they may slow it down.
If other medical conditions are causing dementia or co-exist with dementia, the appropriate drugs used to treat those specific conditions are prescribed.
What Increases The Risk For Dementia
- AgeThe strongest known risk factor for dementia is increasing age, with most cases affecting those of 65 years and older
- Family historyThose who have parents or siblings with dementia are more likely to develop dementia themselves.
- Race/ethnicityOlder African Americans are twice more likely to have dementia than whites. Hispanics 1.5 times more likely to have dementia than whites.
- Poor heart healthHigh blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking increase the risk of dementia if not treated properly.
- Traumatic brain injuryHead injuries can increase the risk of dementia, especially if they are severe or occur repeatedly.
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What Are Specific Care Needs At Each Stage
An individual may not require care assistance after the initial diagnosis of dementia, but that will change as the disease progresses and symptoms become worse. There are about 16 million unpaid caregivers of people with dementia in the United States. While many caregivers are providing daily help for family members, they also hire someone to help. There are many options of care assistance, such as in-home care, adult day care, and nursing home care. There is also financial assistance available.
Early Stage DementiaAs mentioned above, in the early stage of dementia a person can function rather independently and requires little care assistance. Simple reminders of appointments and names of people may be needed. Caregivers can also assist with coping strategies to help loved ones remain as independent as possible, such as writing out a daily to-do list and a schedule for taking medications. Safety should always be considered, and if any tasks cannot be performed safely alone, supervision and assistance should be provided. During this period of dementia, its a good idea for caregivers and loved ones to discuss the future. For example, a long-term care plan should be made and financial and legal matters put in place.
What Are The Seven Stages Of Dementia
Dementia is a general term used for progressive mental or cognitive decline that has affected 47 million people globally by 2050, this number is expected to increase to an estimated 131 million people.
Out of the various diseases that have dementia as one of their characteristics, Alzheimers disease is the most common. The progression of dementia has been divided into seven stages as per the Global Deterioration Scale of primary degenerative dementia prepared by Dr. Riesberg and his team.
The imaging techniques such as computed tomography scan of the brain might show some changes but the patient does not exhibit any of the cognitive signs and symptoms.
- The patient starts forgetting words or misplacing objects this may go unnoticed by people around them.
- It should be remembered that this stage might also occur due to the normal aging process.
- The patient suffers from short-term memory lossforgetting what they just read and the names of new acquaintances.
- They cant make plans or organize things as earlier.
- They might frequently start misplacing and losing things.
- The patient experiences major memory disturbances such as forgetting their phone number and address.
- They may forget how to bath and face trouble while choosing and wearing clothes.
Stage 6 :
Stage 7 :
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How To Communicate With Someone Who Has Dementia
As dementia progresses, it affects peoples ability to express themselves so you may need to learn new ways to understand and communicate with the person you care for. Here are some tips:
If youre struggling with unusual or challenging behaviour, speak to the persons GP to get a referral to your community mental health team. The Alzheimer Societys factsheet Aggressive behaviour has more useful information including how to react, working out triggers, and dealing with your own feelings.
It’s worth bearing in mind that distress and confusion may be caused by other health needs than dementia. Always discuss any concerns with the person’s GP so they can check for physical causes of symptoms.
How Do Physicians Ensure That The Person Has The Correct Diagnosis
Diagnosing both schizophrenia and dementia can be challenging. The challenges increase when a person already has one of the two conditions.
There is no single definitive test for dementia. While tests can show that a person has declined in cognitive function, these tests cannot conclusively prove that dementia is the cause, or determine which type of dementia a person has. That said, the testing can help to determine which diagnosis is more or less likely.
Instead, doctors use a combination of tests , such as bloodwork and brain scans, to look for dementia markers, including signs of plaques in the brain. However, not all people with dementia develop brain signs of the disease, and some people with plaques or other symptoms do not have dementia.
Similarly, no single test can prove that a person has schizophrenia, and doctors do not use brain scans or blood tests to diagnose this condition. Rather, such as delusions, hallucinations, socially unacceptable behavior, and a disconnection from reality.
Some of these symptoms are similar to dementia.
Certain types of dementia, especially frontotemporal dementia, are easy to confuse with schizophrenia. Frontotemporal dementia affects behavior and mental health, potentially causing aggression, impulse control, and hallucinations. It also tends to appear earlier in life than Alzheimers, making it even easier to mistake for schizophrenia.
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Anticholinergic Drugs Can Increase Dementia Risk By 54%
Seniors who dont have Alzheimers or dementia still need to be careful of anticholinergic medications.
Thats because these drugs can increase the risk of developing dementia in the future.
A study of adults aged 65+ found that those who took an anticholinergic drug for three or more years had a 54% higher dementia risk.