Factors That Influence The Time Between Alzheimers Stages
Theres a noticeably large time range in terms of how long people live with Alzheimers, which is due to the variances in peoples overall health and levels of support. Seniors with high levels of support at home tend to go through each stage more slowly and live longer than people without help. Most people can live for several years with late-stage Alzheimers, but it does require their families to make decisions about how to provide high-quality care. Helping your loved one receive proper nutrition and prevent injuries allows him or her to enjoy a higher quality of life in this final stage.
It can be extremely helpful to enlist the help of a professional caregiver with specialized training in Alzheimers care, which includes unique methods designed to boost cognitive health. The type of in-home careseniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each seniors individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.
Reasons For The Difference In Longevity
Theres obviously a significant gap between a couple of weeks and several years, and this is due to major differences in how Alzheimers disease affects seniors along with variations in overall health among older adults. Your loved one has a greater chance of living longer in the final stage if he or she is already in relatively good health. Being well-nourished offsets the potential for malnutrition if your loved one has eating challenges, and having a strong body can prevent new health issues that might cause your loved one to go through the final stage more quickly. People who receive proper care before and during this stage tend to do better overall.
End Stage Of Dementia
The end stage of dementia is the most difficult stage for those suffering from the disease, and also for family members, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. Victims lose what is left of their intellectual and physical capabilities and become completely dependent on others. The model is still shifting in considering end stage dementia an end of life condition experts are pushing this model in order to advocate for better pain and distress management for those suffering at their end.
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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At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood.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 oneâs 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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Stage : Severe Cognitive Declinemoderately Severe Dementia
At this stage, the ability to perform basic activities of daily life becomes compromised. Functionally, five successive substages are identifiable. Persons initially in stage 6a, in addition to having lost the ability to choose their clothing without assistance, begin to require assistance in putting on their clothing properly. Unless supervised, the person with Alzheimers disease may put their clothing on backward, they may have difficulty putting their arm in the correct sleeve, or they may dress in the wrong sequence.
The total duration of the stage of moderately severe Alzheimers disease is approximately 2.5 years in otherwise healthy persons.
At approximately the same point in the evolution of AD, but generally just a little later in the temporal sequence, AD persons lose the ability to bathe without assistance . Characteristically, the earliest and most common deficit in bathing is difficulty adjusting the temperature of the bath water. Once the caregiver adjusts the temperature of the bath water, the AD person can still potentially otherwise bathe independently. As this stage evolves, additional deficits occur in bathing and dressing independently. In this 6b substage, AD persons generally develop deficits in other modalities of daily hygiene such as properly brushing their teeth.
Stages 6c, 6d, 6e
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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.
How Hospice Can Help With End
In addition to helping you in recognizing the signs of dying in the elderly with dementia, bringing in hospice care will help with the physical and emotional demands of caregiving. Nurses will be able to adjust medication and care plans as the individuals needs change. Aides can help with bathing, grooming, and other personal care. Social workers can help organize resources for the patient and family. Chaplains and bereavement specials can help the family with any emotional or spiritual needs. Additionally, family members can contact hospice at any time, and do not need to wait until it is recommended by the patient’s physician.
To learn more about the criteria for hospice eligibility or to schedule a consultation, please contact Crossroads using the blue Help Center bar on this page for more information on how we can help provide support to individuals with dementia and their families.
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The 7 Stages Of Dementia
Alzheimers disease and other common forms of dementia including vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and frontotemporal dementia are progressive conditions, with symptoms worsening over time as the disease progresses. Learn more about the stages of dementia and what to expect from your loved one as dementia progresses.
Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, Alzheimers disease and dementia are two different terms. Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe several conditions and it includes Alzheimers, as well as other conditions with shared symptoms. More than mere forgetfulness, an individual must have trouble with at least two of the following cognitive areas to be diagnosed with dementia:
- Reasoning and judgment
- Visual perception
The assessment tools used to determine which stage of dementia a person is experiencing are meant to be a guide and a rough outline of what caregivers can expect and when they can expect it. Some symptoms may occur later than others, others may appear in a different order than the scale predicts, and some may not appear at all. Some symptoms may appear and then vanish, while others will continue to worsen over time. Because every person is different and dementia manifests itself uniquely, the speed at which dementia progresses varies widely. On average, a person with Alzheimers disease lives 4 to 8 years after a diagnosis, but some have been seen to live as long as 20 years.
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Stage : Mild Dementia Due To Alzheimers Disease
The symptoms of Alzheimers disease during this stage are still mild however, close friends and family may begin to notice signs and symptoms of the disease. Work quality will begin to suffer, and the individual is likely to experience problems when trying to learn something new. Although stage three lasts for approximately seven years, symptoms will become more apparent over a span of two to four years. Its during stage three that Alzheimers disease is most often diagnosed, as it becomes apparent to family and medical professionals that the individual is having significant trouble with memory and thinking, so much so, that it impacts day-to-day activities.
In stage three, an individual may require counseling. They may have mild to moderate denial, depression and anxiety. As this stage progresses and their symptoms worsen, they may require caregiving assistance in their home or in a senior care community.
In stage three, individuals may experience:
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Changes In Mood Emotions And Perceptions
Changes in mood remain in the later stages of dementia. Depression and apathy are particularly common.
Delusions and hallucinations are most common in the late stage of dementia. They are not always distressing but they can explain some changes in behaviour because the persons perception of reality is altered.
People with later stage dementia often respond more to senses than words. They may like listening to songs or enjoy textures. For example, they may like the feel of different types of material.
Stage : Severe Cognitive Decline
Memory difficulties continue to worsen, significant personality changes may emerge and affected individuals need extensive help with customary daily activities. At this stage, individuals may:
- Lose most awareness of recent experiences and events as well as of their surroundings
- Recollect their personal history imperfectly, although they generally recall their own name
- Occasionally forget the name of their spouse or primary caregiver but generally can distinguish familiar from unfamiliar faces
- Need help getting dressed properly without supervision, may make such errors as pajamas over clothes or shoes on wrong feet
- Experience disruption of their normal sleep/waking cycle
- Need help with handling details of toileting
- Have increasing episodes of urinary or fecal incontinence
- Experience significant personality changes and behavioral symptoms, including: suspiciousness and delusions hallucinations or compulsive, repetitive behaviors such as hand-wringing or tissue shredding
- Tend to wander and become lost
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Whats The Average Duration Of The Last Stage Of Alzheimers
By Pete Lane 9 am on August 19, 2019
Alzheimers disease doesnt follow a specific timeline. While some people live only a few years after their diagnosis, others can continue living for twenty years or more. During this time, seniors advance through different stages, and people often worry the most about how long the final stage lasts. Understanding the average length of time the last stage of Alzheimers lasts, along with the challenges your aging loved one faces, can help you understand how to provide the right type of care.
Stage : Normal Outward Behavior
Alzheimerâs disease usually starts silently, with brain changes that begin years before anyone notices a problem. When your loved one is in this early phase, they won’t have any symptoms that you can spot. Only a PET scan, an imaging test that shows how the brain is working, can reveal whether they have Alzheimer’s.
As they move into the next six stages, your friend or relative with Alzheimer’s will see more and more changes in their thinking and reasoning.
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The Seven Stages Of Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimerâs disease is a progressive neurological disorder that leads to personality changes, memory loss, intellectual slowing, and other symptoms. Although each person with Alzheimerâs is different, most progress through a series of stages, each of which is characterized by more serious Alzheimerâs symptoms.
The following seven stages were developed by researchers and physicians to describe how a person with dementia could change over time. Your doctor might collapse the seven stages into early/middle/late or mild/moderate/severe, so these classifications are provided as well. . It is important to note here that dementia affects every person in different ways so not everyone will experience the same symptoms or problems or necessarily follow the same pattern of decline. These âstagesâ are used for guidance purposes only. Although the stages provide a blueprint for the progression of Alzheimerâs symptoms, not everyone advances through the stages similarly. Caregivers report that their loved ones sometimes seem to be in two or more stages at once, and the rate at which people advance through the stages is highly individual. Still, the stages help us understand Alzheimerâs symptoms and prepare for their accompanying challenges.
Stage 1 There are no problems with memory, orientation, judgment, communication, or daily activities. You or your loved one is a normally functioning adult.
Coping With Alzheimer’s Progression
The progression of Alzheimers disease is a mind-bender to deal with. Each stage puts new demands and strains on the patient and their informal and professional caregivers. Education can help immensely throughout this process, so it is important for family members to learn as much as they can about this condition, ask questions of medical professionals and seek out advice and support from other caregivers who have had first-hand experience with Alzheimers. Caring for someone with AD takes a super-human effort, and embarking on this journey alone should not be an option. This is a difficult disease where community support can make all the difference. Be sure to get help for your loved one and get help for yourself.
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Treating Utis In Seniors With Dementia
The first step to being treated for a UTI, or any infection, is a correct diagnosis. Nearly 30% 40% of seniors with a serious infection do not have a fever because of a weakened immune systems inability to respond to the infection. As the infection spreads into the bloodstream and crosses the blood-brain barrier, confusion and other cognitive impairments can occur. This can cause a cognitively healthy person to be diagnosed with dementia, letting the infection continue and resulting in severe health consequences.
If you suspect a loved one has a UTI, see a medical professional immediately. A simple urine test will be able to identify an infection. Doctors may also use an ultrasound exam, X-rays, or a CAT scan to diagnose a UTI. Antibiotics are the most common treatment method for UTIs.
Is It A Uti Or Dementia What You Need To Know
Most of us, at one point or another in our lives, have contracted a urinary tract infection or UTI as they are more commonly called. They are uncomfortable for sure, causing pressure and pain. So, we drink plenty of water or cranberry juice and, if necessary, take medications to wipe out the infection. Then we go on our way.
For elderly adults, however, a UTI can do more than cause pressure and pain. A UTI can bring on behavior changes that leave a family member wondering what happened to bring on such a sudden change in moms behavior? Because a UTI, especially in an elderly person, can bring on confusion, delirium, restlessness and overall weakness and fatigue. Thats why those around them sometimes think its a sudden onset of dementia, even though dementia typically progresses more slowly in its early stages.
Above all be cognizant of any dramatic behavioral changes in your loved one with dementia and reach out for help. Whether or not the cause is something as simple as a UTI, your family physician is in the best position to answer your questions and conduct any tests needed to make a proper assessment.
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How Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Treated
UTIs are usually treated with a course of antibiotics. However, in order for your loved one to be prescribed the medication, you may need to collect a sample of urine to be analysed. Not surprisingly, this can be a particularly tricky activity to do for someone with dementia, particularly if they dont understand why youre doing it. There are some products that help to detect the presence of the bacteria that can cause UTIs in the urine and can be useful.
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Adapt Foods To The Person’s Needs
Choose foods that are soft and can be chewed and swallowed easily. If the person can no longer eat solid food, mash or puree it in a blender. Consider bite-size finger foods such as slices of cheese, tater tots and chicken nuggets. Check with your physician to see if a supplement, such as a multivitamin or high-protein drink is needed.
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Tips For Providing Compassionate Care
Although learning about what happens during the final stage of Alzheimers disease can feel upsetting, knowing what to expect empowers you and your loved one to make decisions while you can. If your loved one hasnt reached this stage yet, now is the ideal time to talk about long-term plans for his or her care. For instance, your loved one may do best at home with a professional caregiver. If your loved one is already in this stage, your role now is to focus on helping him or her stay comfortable despite the symptoms. By putting together a team of caregivers who can help with meals, dressing, and providing calm opportunities to socialize, you can help your loved one move through the final stages of Alzheimers with the understanding that he or she is loved.
Alzheimers can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who dont have experience in providing Alzheimers care. TorontoHome Care Assistance provides Alzheimers care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimers and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan thats just right for your loved ones needs. Call us today at 488-8777 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.