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 Many Canadians Live With Dementia Including Alzheimer’s Disease And How Many Are Newly Diagnosed Each Year
According to the most recent data available , more than 402,000 seniors are living with dementia in Canada . This represents a prevalence of 7.1%. About two-thirds of Canadian seniors living with dementia are women. Annually, there are approximately 76,000 new cases of dementia diagnosed in Canada. This represents an incidence of 14.3 new cases per 1,000 in the senior population . The incidence is higher among women than men. The prevalence and the incidence increase with age, as does the differential in prevalence and incidence estimates between men and women .
Notes: Data do not include Saskatchewan’s data. The 95% confidence interval shows an estimated range of values which is likely to include the true value 19 times out of 20.
Data source: Public Health Agency of Canada, using Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System data files contributed by provinces and territories, April 2017.
Over a ten-year period , the age-standardized prevalence of dementia increased by 21.2%. During the same period, fluctuations in incidence have been observed. Drug data, one of the criteria used for case identification , became available in Alberta and Prince Edward Island in 20092010, which contributed to the temporary peak in incidence that year. Since then, incidence data suggest a decline .
Growing Numbers Of People With Alzheimers In The Us
About 6.2 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimers disease. Of the total U.S. population, more than 1 in 9 people age 65 and older has Alzheimers. The percentage of people with Alzheimers increases with age: 5.3% of people ages 65 to 74, 13.8% of people ages 75 to 84, and 34.6% of people 85 and older.
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Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Dementia
2.5.1 Pharmacologic treatment
None of the pharmacologic treatments available today for Alzheimer’s dementia slow or stop the damage and destruction of neurons that cause Alzheimer’s symptoms and make the disease fatal. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved five drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s â rivastigmine, galantamine, donepezil, memantine, and memantine combined with donepezil. With the exception of memantine, these drugs temporarily improve cognitive symptoms by increasing the amount of chemicals called neurotransmitters in the brain. Memantine blocks certain receptors in the brain from excess stimulation that can damage nerve cells. The effectiveness of these drugs varies from person to person and is limited in duration.
Many factors contribute to the difficulty of developing effective treatments for Alzheimer’s. These factors include the slow pace of recruiting sufficient numbers of participants and sufficiently diverse participants to clinical studies, gaps in knowledge about the precise molecular changes and biological processes in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s disease, and the relatively long time needed to observe whether an investigational treatment affects disease progression.
2.5.2 Non-pharmacologic therapy
Where To Live With Dementia
Eventually, caregiving for someone with dementia wont be appropriate anymore. The needs of a person with progressive dementia become overwhelming, and moving into a full-time residence with trained staff becomes necessary. You should plan for this well before it becomes necessary, by visiting communities and asking the right questions.
Depending on your loved ones stage of illness, different living options are available:
Assisted Living in Early StagesAssisted living residences combine room and board with medical and personal care, and are often sufficient for someone in the early stages of Alzheimers disease or related dementia. Full-time supervision means residents are safe, with living units like private studios or apartments so someone with mild dementia can still feel a sense of independence.
Services offered in assisted living include meals, help with activities of daily living , social activities, and transportation to and from doctors appointments. Before moving in, the residence will assess your loved one to make sure its a good fit.
Memory care residences have physical designs that are appropriate for people with dementia. Someone with Alzheimers, for instance, may become upset when encountering a wall, so memory care buildings have circular hallways. Because people with dementia are prone to wander, memory care residences have increased security and supervision, and special locks on doors.
Did You Know?
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The Seven Stages Of Dementia
One of the most difficult things to hear about dementia is that, in most cases, dementia is irreversible and incurable. However, with an early diagnosis and proper care, the progression of some forms of dementia can be managed and slowed down. The cognitive decline that accompanies dementia conditions does not happen all at once – the progression of dementia can be divided into seven distinct, identifiable stages.
Learning about the stages of dementia can help with identifying signs and symptoms early on, as well as assisting sufferers and caretakers in knowing what to expect in further stages. The earlier dementia is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can start.
Overview Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of brain disease, just as coronary artery disease is a type of heart disease. It is also a degenerative disease, meaning that it becomes worse with time. Alzheimer’s disease is thought to begin 20 years or more before symptoms arise,- with changes in the brain that are unnoticeable to the person affected. Only after years of brain changes do individuals experience noticeable symptoms such as memory loss and language problems. Symptoms occur because nerve cells in parts of the brain involved in thinking, learning and memory have been damaged or destroyed. As the disease progresses, neurons in other parts of the brain are damaged or destroyed. Eventually, nerve cells in parts of the brain that enable a person to carry out basic bodily functions, such as walking and swallowing, are affected. Individuals become bed-bound and require around-the-clock care. Alzheimer’s disease is ultimately fatal.
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Why Are Dementias Including Alzheimers Disease Important
In 2014, Alzheimers disease was the 6th leading cause of death among adults aged 18 years and older based on death certificate data.1 Estimates vary, but analysis of data from the Chicago Health and Aging Project and 2010 U.S. Census data suggests that the prevalence of dementia among adults aged 65 years and older in the U.S. in 2016 is 11%, or 5.2 million people.2,3 The estimated total cost for health care, long-term care, and hospice for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is estimated to be $236 billion for 2016.2
Dementia affects an individuals health, quality of life, and ability to live independently. It can also diminish a persons ability to effectively:
- Manage medications and medical conditions
- Make financial decisions
There are important steps to take to improve the care and support for people with dementia and their caregivers. These include:
- Increasing the availability of existing effective diagnostic tools
- Reducing the severity of cognitive and behavioral symptoms through medical management
- Supporting family caregivers with social, behavioral, and legal resources
- Encouraging healthy behaviors to reduce the risk of co-occurring conditions
How To Learn More About Dementia Including Alzheimer’s Disease In Canada:
- Canada.ca and Search “Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, in Canada”
Box 1: What’s in the data?
Each data source has strengths and limitations. As such, dementia estimates vary among population-based studies, depending on factors like the definition of dementia, type of data, and methodology used. The data used in this publication are from the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System , a collaborative network of provincial and territorial chronic disease surveillance systems, led by the Public Health Agency of Canada . The CCDSS identifies chronic disease cases from provincial and territorial administrative health databases, including physician billing claims and hospital discharge abstract records, linked to provincial and territorial health insurance registry records using a unique personal identifier. Data on all residents eligible for provincial or territorial health insurance are captured in the health insurance registries. Data on diagnosed dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, from Saskatchewan are not included in the CCDSS due to a different utilisation pattern of the International Classification of Diseases codes that would lead to an underestimation of incidence and prevalence in that province.
Definition of diagnosed dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, in the CCDSS
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Increase The Proportion Of Older Adults With Dementia Or Their Caregivers Who Know They Have It Dia01
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Baseline:59.7 percent of adults aged 65 years and over with diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, or their caregiver, were aware of the diagnosis in 2013-15
Increase the proportion of older adults with diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, or their caregiver, who are aware of the diagnosis
Common Myths About Dementia
The YouGov research also reveals that there are still many worrying myths that exist about dementia, which might put people off seeking a diagnosis almost 1 in 4 thought that people who received a dementia diagnosis would instantly have to stop going out for a walk on their own and almost half thought they would have to immediately stop driving a car. 58% thought they would personally struggle to join in conversations post-diagnosis and 49% worried people would think they were mad.
Other common myths revealed in the research include that over half of people think a dementia diagnosis means no longer enjoying the things they used to, 22% of people fear they would lose their partner or friends, and over 1 in 3 say they would put off seeking medical attention from a GP about memory problems because they think dementia is just ‘a part of the ageing process’. 68% think they would no longer be the same person if they were to be diagnosed with dementia.
The charity also found that almost two thirds didnt think that they could seek help and support from a charity when they, or a person close to them, develops dementia.
This Dementia Awareness Week, Alzheimers Society is tackling the many myths and misunderstandings about dementia, to show people that life doesnt end when dementia begins, support is out there and it is possible to live life well beyond a dementia diagnosis.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimers Society, said:
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.
What Is Dementia And What Is Alzheimer’s Disease
Dementia refers to a set of symptoms and signs associated with a progressive deterioration of cognitive functions that affects daily activities. It is caused by various brain diseases and injuries. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Lewy body dementia constitute other common types. Symptoms of dementia can include memory loss, judgement and reasoning problems, and changes in behaviour, mood and communication abilities.Footnote 4
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Who Is Affected By Dementia
Dementia mainly affects people over the age of 65, though dementia can affect younger people too.
Our new figures, announced in December 2021, are based on the number of people with dementia over 65 only. This is because there is very little research and data on the estimated numbers of people with dementia under 65. There is an urgent need for more research to be carried out in this area.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Dementia
Because dementia is a general term, its symptoms can vary widely from person to person. People with dementia have problems with:
- Reasoning, judgment, and problem solving
- Visual perception beyond typical age-related changes in vision
Signs that may point to dementia include:
- Getting lost in a familiar neighborhood
- Using unusual words to refer to familiar objects
- Forgetting the name of a close family member or friend
- Forgetting old memories
- Not being able to complete tasks independently
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How Is Dementia Diagnosed
To diagnose dementia, doctors first assess whether a person has an underlying, potentially treatable, condition that may relate to cognitive difficulties. A physical exam to measure blood pressure and other vital signs, as well as laboratory tests of blood and other fluids to check levels of various chemicals, hormones, and vitamins, can help uncover or rule out possible causes of symptoms.
A review of a persons medical and family history can provide important clues about risk for dementia. Typical questions might include asking about whether dementia runs in the family, how and when symptoms began, changes in behavior and personality, and if the person is taking certain medications that might cause or worsen symptoms.
The following procedures also may be used to diagnose dementia:
Early detection of symptoms is important, as some causes can be treated. However, in many cases, the cause of dementia is unknown and cannot be treated. Still, obtaining an early diagnosis can help with managing the condition and planning ahead.
Stage : Moderately Severe Dementia
When the patient begins to forget the names of their children, spouse, or primary caregivers, they are most likely entering stage 6 of dementia and will need full time care. In the sixth stage, patients are generally unaware of their surroundings, cannot recall recent events, and have skewed memories of their personal past. Caregivers and loved ones should watch for:
- Delusional behavior
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Can Dementia Be Prevented
Although dementia cannot be prevented, living a health-focused life might influence risk factors for certain types of dementia. Keeping blood vessels clear of cholesterol buildup, maintaining normal blood pressure, controlling blood sugar, staying at a healthy weight basically, staying as healthy as one can can keep the brain fueled with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function at its highest possible level. Specific healthful steps you can take include:
- Follow a Mediterranean diet, which is one filled with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish and shellfish, nuts, beans, olive oil and only limited amounts of red meats.
- Exercise. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
- Keep your brain engaged. Solve puzzles, play word games, and try other mentally stimulating activities. These activities may delay the start of dementia.
- Stay socially active. Interact with people discuss current events keep your mind, heart, and soul engaged.