Stage : Very Mild Changes No Dementiaquality Of Life: Little To No Impact
You still might not notice any changes in your loved one. Youll see daily memory problems that look like a normal part of aging. You may see:
- Some difficulty finding the right words.
- The ability to make up for memory problems, such as substituting one word for another.
- Normal functioning in the home, community, and workplace.
How You Can Help:
As with Stage 1, start to plan now. Use our tools to help your loved one document his or her values and priorities about the type of care wanted during the various stages of dementia.
You can also watch for new signs that you may not have seen before.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Late Or Severe Dementia
- Worsening of symptoms seen in early and intermediate dementia
- Complete dependence on others for activities of daily living
- May be unable to walk or move from place to place unassisted
- Impairment of other movements such as swallowing: Increases risk of malnutrition, choking, and aspiration
- Complete loss of short- and long-term memory: May be unable to recognize even close relatives and friends
- Complications: Dehydration, malnutrition, problems with bladder control, infections, aspiration, seizures, pressure sores, injuries from accidents or falls
The person may not be aware of these problems, especially the behavior problems. This is especially true in the later stages of dementia.
Depression in elderly people can cause dementia-like symptoms. About 40% of people with dementia are also depressed. Common symptoms of depression include depressed mood, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, withdrawal from others, sleep disturbances, weight gain or loss, suicidal thoughts, feelings of worthlessness, and loss of ability to think clearly or concentrate.
People with irreversible or untreated dementia present a slow, gradual decline in mental functions and movements over several years. Total dependence and death, often from infection, are the last stages.
Symptoms In The Later Stages Of Dementia
As dementia progresses, memory loss and difficulties with communication often become severe. In the later stages, the person is likely to neglect their own health, and require constant care and attention.
The most common symptoms of advanced dementia include:
- memory problems people may not recognise close family and friends, or remember where they live or where they are
- communication problems some people may eventually lose the ability to speak altogether. Using non-verbal means of communication, such as facial expressions, touch and gestures, can help
- mobility problems many people become less able to move about unaided. Some may eventually become unable to walk and require a wheelchair or be confined to bed
- behavioural problems a significant number of people will develop what are known as “behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia”. These may include increased agitation, depressive symptoms, anxiety, wandering, aggression, or sometimes hallucinations
- bladder incontinence is common in the later stages of dementia, and some people will also experience bowel incontinence
- appetite and weight loss problems are both common in advanced dementia. Many people have trouble eating or swallowing, and this can lead to choking, chest infections and other problems. Alzheimer’s Society has a useful factsheet on eating and drinking
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Vascular Dementia Life Expectancy
All forms of dementia shorten life expectancy. However, it is difficult to predict how quickly a person with vascular dementia will decline. In general, the vascular dementia survival rate is lower than the survival rate and life expectancy with Alzheimers disease. This is primarily due to the underlying causes of vascular dementia.
The average vascular dementia life expectancy after diagnosis is about five years. Some research suggests it may be shorter, at three years, in people who have the disease due to stroke. Its common for people with vascular dementia to die from a stroke or another event related to the underlying causes, such as a .
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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How Long Will You Live After A Dementia Diagnosis
Its sad but true that people with dementia usually have shorter lives. However, exactly how much shorter their life will vary enormously from person to person. Heres the key information about life expectancy, but remember, these are only general statistics so think carefully about whether you want to know before you read on.
What Causes Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia occurs when vessels that supply blood to the brain become blocked or narrowed. Strokes take place when the supply of blood carrying oxygen to the brain is suddenly cut off. However, not all people with stroke will develop vascular dementia.
Vascular dementia can occur over time as silent strokes pile up. Quite often, vascular dementia draws attention to itself only when the impact of so many strokes adds up to significant disability. Avoiding and controlling risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, and high cholesterol can help curb the risk of vascular dementia.
Catching the condition early also helps limit the impact and severity of vascular dementia. Early detection requires an awareness of risk factors and, more importantly, efforts to keep them under control. Anyone who suspects vascular dementia should talk with their doctor.
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Stage : Mild Cognitive Decline
Stage 3 is where dementia or Alzheimers disease symptoms can become more noticeable to friends and family. This stage will not have a major impact on your loved ones everyday life, but signs can include:
- Trouble with complex tasks and problem-solving
- Memory loss and forgetfulness
- Asking the same question repeatedly
- Diminished work performance
Stage : Moderate Dementia
Patients in stage 5 need some assistance in order to carry out their daily lives. The main sign for stage 5 dementia is the inability to remember major details such as the name of a close family member or a home address. Patients may become disoriented about the time and place, have trouble making decisions, and forget basic information about themselves, such as a telephone number or address.
While moderate dementia can interfere with basic functioning, patients at this stage do not need assistance with basic functions such as using the bathroom or eating. Patients also still have the ability to remember their own names and generally the names of spouses and children.
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What Is The Treatment For Dementia
Although an individual with dementia should always be under medical care, family members handle much of the day-to-day care. Medical care should focus on optimizing the individual’s health and quality of life while helping family members cope with the many challenges of caring for a loved one with dementia. Medical care depends on the underlying condition, but it most often consists of medications and nondrug treatments such as behavioral therapy.
However, early investigation into the cause of dementia symptoms is urged because, as mentioned previously in the causes of dementia section. There are some conditions that when adequately treated may either limit or reverse dementia.
How Long Does It Take For Parkinsons Disease To Progress
It is quite common for any individual suffering from Parkinsons disease to wonder about the unfolding of the condition. If you belong to the group that in search for the answers related to the progression of Parkinsons disease, then you will try to learn about the symptoms that you can acquire with the condition, when they start, and the changes the disease brings in the body.
The questions are basic, but Parkinsons disease is not. Like other illnesses, Parkinsons disease does not have a specific path of progression. Due to this, it is difficult to state or pin down the exact time or the path of the progression.
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Alma And Silvias Story
Alma had been forgetful for years, but even after her family knew that Alzheimers disease was the cause of her forgetfulness, they never talked about what the future would bring. As time passed and the disease eroded Almas memory and ability to think and speak, she became less and less able to share her concerns and wishes with those close to her.
This made it hard for her daughter Silvia to know what Alma needed or wanted. When the doctors asked about feeding tubes or antibiotics to treat pneumonia, Silvia didnt know how to best reflect her mothers wishes. Her decisions had to be based on what she knew about her moms values, rather than on what Alma actually said she wanted.
Quality of life is an important issue when making healthcare decisions for people with dementia. For example, medicines are available that may delay or keep symptoms from becoming worse for a little while. Medicines also may help control some behavioral symptoms in people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimers disease.
However, some caregivers might not want drugs prescribed for people in the later stages of Alzheimers. They may believe that the persons quality of life is already so poor that the medicine is unlikely to make a difference. If the drug has serious side effects, they may be even more likely to decide against it.
Stage : Moderately Severe Mental Decline/moderate Dementiaquality Of Life: Moderate Impact
Your loved one will likely remember some of their past and still recognize loved ones. He or she may have trouble making healthcare decisions. You may need some care in the home for day-to-day activities. You may see your loved one:
- Experience personality changes and mood swings.
- Repeat the same questions over and over again.
- Have gaps in memory and become confused about the date, where you are, or your address and phone number.
- Need help with eating or using the toilet.
- Have trouble choosing clothing, such as what kind of close to wear for the season.
- Have bladder problems.
How You Can Help:
If you havent already helped your loved one document his or her care wishes, talk with the health care team and the options for care.
If you have, help the health care team follow your loved ones care preferences.
- Help with dressing, toileting, and other daily activities.
- Respond to repeated questions with patience.
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Conditions With Symptoms Similar To Dementia
Remember that many conditions have symptoms similar to dementia, so it is important not to assume that someone has dementia just because some of the above symptoms are present. Strokes, depression, excessive long-term alcohol consumption, infections, hormonal disorders, nutritional deficiencies and brain tumours can all cause dementia-like symptoms. Many of these conditions can be treated.
How To Improve A Loved One’s Quality Of Life After Diagnosis
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are activities and therapies designed to improve your loved ones quality of life. For example, the extent to which your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can maintain their social relationships may play a large role.
At home, it’s important to try to maintain as much normalcy as possible. In particular, it can be helpful for your loved one to maintain their household responsibilities. In the later stages of the disease, your loved one’s needs are likely to change, and it’s critical for you as a caregiver to know how to care for yourself as well as your loved one.
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How Fast Does Alzheimers Progress
Alzheimers disease is one of the most common types of dementia. Although Alzheimers is commonly associated with old age, the disease is thought to be caused by the death of brain cells and an imbalance of neurotransmitters rather than the effect of old age. It is a progressive disease and over time the patient will slowly deteriorate, so if you have a loved one affected by Alzheimers, how fast does Alzheimers progress?
Alzheimers affects different people in different ways and the progress of the disease will vary greatly between different individuals. Some people deteriorate very swiftly from when the early symptoms of the disease first become evident, whereas others can live for many years with the disease, even though their quality of life will gradually diminish as Alzheimers takes its toll.
What Is The Average Rapid Onset Dementia Life Expectancy
Dementia is known for its gradual onset and slow progression. However, the condition does result in a reduced life expectancy. The average rapid onset dementia life expectancy ranges from 3 to 13 years after the onset or diagnosis. However, dementia suffers with rapid onset dementia may deteriorate much faster. Individuals with rapidly progressive dementia have an average life expectancy of 4 to 18 months after the time of diagnosis. To make this time as comfortable as possible for your loved one and to improve their quality of life, choosing an in-home care agency that offers special services for dementia can be highly beneficial.
What Is Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and the most common movement disorder. Characteristics of Parkinsons disease are progressive loss of muscle control, which leads to trembling of the limbs and head while at rest, stiffness, slowness, and impaired balance. As symptoms worsen, it may become difficult to walk, talk, and complete simple tasks.
The progression of Parkinsons disease and the degree of impairment vary from person to person. Many people with Parkinsons disease live long productive lives, whereas others become disabled much more quickly. Complications of Parkinsons such as falling-related injuries or pneumonia. However, studies of patent populations with and without Parkinsons Disease suggest the life expectancy for people with the disease is about the same as the general population.
Most people who develop Parkinsons disease are 60 years of age or older. Since overall life expectancy is rising, the number of individuals with Parkinsons disease will increase in the future. Adult-onset Parkinsons disease is most common, but early-onset Parkinsons disease , and juvenile-onset Parkinsons disease can occur.
Can Dementia Be Prevented
No known way to prevent irreversible dementia or even many types of reversible dementia exists. The following may help prevent certain types of dementia:
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, moderate use of alcohol, and no smoking or substance abuse
- Taking precautions to prevent infections
- Using protective equipment such as a seat belt or motorcycle helmet to prevent head injury
The following may allow early treatment and at least partial reversal of dementia:
- Being alert for symptoms and signs that suggest dementia
- Early recognition of underlying medical conditions, such as hypoxia, HIV infection, low glucose levels, or low sodium levels
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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.
How Is An Rpd Diagnosed
RPD can be difficult to diagnose, so it is often necessary to see a doctor who specializes in these conditions. The doctor might ask about the patients progression of symptoms, any similar illnesses in biological relatives or any recent possible exposures . The doctor may request some laboratory testing, such as blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid brain imaging and/or an electroencephalogram . The information gathered by the physician and tests might help to determine the cause of disease.
What Diseases Or Conditions May Worsen Dementia
Treatable disorders revealed by the diagnostic evaluation should receive prompt attention.
- Common, treatable conditions that cause or worsen dementia include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, infections, head injuries, brain tumors, hydrocephalus, anemia, hypoxia, hormone imbalances, and nutritional deficiencies.
- Treatment varies by disorder, but some treatments may rapidly reverse the dementia symptoms.
What Are Potentially Treatable Causes Of Dementia
The dementia in treatable conditions may be reversible or partially reversible, even if the underlying disease or damage is not. However, readers should note that if underlying brain damage is extensive or severe, these causes may be classified as irreversible by the individual’s physician.
There is no specific test for dementia. However, dementia may be diagnosed if at least two of the following core mental functions are significantly impaired, according to some researchers:
- Attentiveness/focus on a problem or subject
- Visual perception
In some people, the signs and symptoms of dementia are easily recognized in others, they can be very subtle. A careful and thorough evaluation is needed to identify their true cause.
An assessment of dementia symptoms should include a mental status evaluation. This evaluation uses various “pencil and paper,””talking,” and physical tests to identify brain dysfunction. A more thorough type of testing, performed by a psychologist, is called neuropsychologic testing.
Lab tests may be used to identify or rule out possible causes of dementia.
In some cases, imaging studies of the brain may be necessary to detect conditions such as normal pressure hydrocephalus, brain tumor, or infarction or bleeding in the brain.
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