Stage : Associated Memory Impairment
Stage 2 dementia shows signs of mild cognitive decline. This includes some forgetfulness which is normal signs of aging. The forgetfulness that is seen may not be noticable to loved ones, friends, -or physicians. Stage 2 dementia individuals can still do tasks on their own.
While in stage 2 dementia you might see small signs such as:
- Sporadically forgetting names
- Forgetting where you put important things such as your phone and keys
Medication For Advanced Dementia
There is good evidence that drugs commonly prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease have benefits for people in the later stages of the disease. Many doctors now continue to prescribe these for severe Alzheimer’s disease.
Memantine is also recommended for people in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, or in the moderate stage of Alzheimers where drugs such as donepezil cannot be taken. It can slow down the progression of symptoms including difficulties with everyday activities and disorientation. There is some evidence it can also help with symptoms such as delusions, aggression and agitation.
However, health professionals do not recommend treatment combining memantine and the other drugs already mentioned . Memantine is also not suitable for people with other types of dementia.
Drug treatment for dementia
How Quickly Does Dementia Usually Progress
There are 7 signs of dementia and each stage where signs present themselves can last for different lengths of time.
Symptoms could progress differently from patient to patient.
Once early dementia hits and loss of cognitive function becomes more noticeable, it becomes easier to identify how quickly dementia might progress.
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How Are The Stages Of Dementia Measured
The stages of dementia can be measured using a few different scales as previously mentioned.
Global Deterioration Scale for Assessment of Primary Degenerative Dementia : GDS is the most commonly used scale to measure dementia. Although it can successfully measure different forms of dementia, it is most accurate for Alzheimers disease.
The GDS, or Reisberg Scale, uses seven stages based on cognitive decline to help navigate a patient as they move through the different stages of dementia.
Functional Assessment Staging Test : A seven-stage scale that focuses more on a patients functioning and ability to perform daily tasks rather than their cognitive decline.
A patient could be at different stages using both the GDS and FAST scales.
Clinical Dementia Rating : CDR is a 5-point system that measures both cognitive ability and daily functionality.
This system evaluates 6 different areas
What Should You Do In The Early Stages Of Dementia
When in the early stages of Dementia, you should meet with your doctor to develop an action plan that can help you and your loved one living with dementia. If you and your loved one reside in Texas, you can also contact me at Your Dementia Therapist. I am an Occupational Therapist consultant who specializes in dementia, and I can help you address your primary areas of concern when caring for your loved one.You will also want to talk with your loved ones and develop a plan for the future while they are still able to do so. This includes assigning a power of attorney and advance decision and advance statements to ensure that all their wishes and preferences can be known in the future.
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Why Is Dementia Progressive
In the early stage of all types of dementia only a small part of the brain is damaged. In this stage, a person has fewer symptoms as only the abilities that depend on the damaged part of the brain are affected. These early symptoms are usually relatively minor. This is why mild dementia is used as an alternative term for the early stage.
Each type of dementia affects a different area of the brain in the early stages. This is why symptoms vary between the different types. For example, memory loss is common in early-stage Alzheimers but is very uncommon in early-stage FTD.
As dementia progresses into the middle and later stages, the symptoms of the different dementia types tend to become more similar. This is because more of the brain is affected as dementia progresses.
Over time, the disease causing the dementia spreads to other parts of the brain. This leads to more symptoms because more of the brain is unable to work properly. At the same time, already-damaged areas of the brain become even more affected, causing symptoms the person already has to get worse.
Stage : Very Severe Mental Decline/severe Dementia Quality Of Life: Very Severe Impact
Your loved one will not remember any of the past or recognize loved ones. He or she will have likely lost the ability to make healthcare decisions. You will need 24-hour care in the home for day-to-day activities. You may see your loved one:
- Lose the ability to speak, eat or swallow.
- Not be able to use the toilet or get dressed without help.
- Not be able to walk or sit without help.
- Loss of language skills throughout this stage
- Lose all bladder and bowel control.
- Loss of muscle control
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Stage : Severe Decline
People with the sixth stage of Alzheimers need constant supervision and frequently require professional care. Symptoms include:
- Confusion or unawareness of environment and surroundings
- Inability to recognize faces except for the closest friends and relatives
- Inability to remember most details of personal history
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Major personality changes and potential behavior problems
- The need for assistance with activities of daily living such as toileting and bathing
What Should Be Your Role As A Caregiver In The End
During the final stage of dementia, the affected individual becomes completely dependent on the people around them to carry out basic activities.
If a person is a caregiver, they need to take care of the patient regarding certain important aspects, including:
The appetite of the affected individual may decrease in the final stages of dementia due to the inability to stay physically active. They may forget to eat food or drink fluids.
To help ensure that the person in the final stage of dementia receives adequate nutrition, try the following tips:
Bowel and bladder function
The patient may eventually lose control of bladder and bowel function in the final stage of dementia.
To maintain bowel and bladder function, try the following tips:
Skin and bone health
A patient with end-stage Alzheimers disease can eventually become bedridden or chair-bound. This can result in skin breakdown, pressure sores, and freezing of joints .
To keep the skin healthy and bones functioning, try the following tips:
Good oral hygiene reduces the risk of bacteria in the mouth that can lead to infections, including pneumonia. Brush the patients teeth every time after the patient eats. If the patient wears dentures, remove them and clean them every night.
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What Are The Final Stages Of Dementia
As seniors progress to late stage dementia, full-time care may become necessary, whether you choose memory care or professional dementia care at home. The symptoms of the final stages of Alzheimers include behavioral and personality changes, inability to perform ADLs, and severe cognitive decline.
Dementia stage 6: severe cognitive decline
Stage 6 marks a need for caregiver help to perform basic daily activities such as dressing, eating, using the toilet, and other self-care. Seniors with late stage dementia may have difficulty regulating sleep, interacting with others, or behaving appropriately in public settings.
How Long Do The 7 Stages Of Dementia Last
If youre wondering how long do the 7 stages of dementia last?, there is no clear-cut answer.
The beginning stages are difficult to identify for the average person, so that makes it harder to pinpoint an expected duration of these stages.
However, once early dementia hits, patients tend to stay in each stage for about two years before progressing to the next one.
Some stages can last a little longer while others might be a bit shorter .
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Stage Four: Moderate Cognitive Decline
Many people living with dementia are officially diagnosed during stage four, which is when physicians are able to pinpoint cognitive decline with an exam. At this point, the patient will likely present symptoms such as life-disrupting forgetfulness and out-of-character difficulty performing daily responsibilities. It may become more challenging for those with stage four dementia to manage finances or navigate to new locations.
What Are The 7 Stages Of Dementia Be Prepared For Early Middle And Late Stage Dementia Symptoms
Lately, you find that youre becoming more and more forgetful.
Not only can you not remember where you left your car keys, but youre starting to have trouble recalling recent memories and the names of loved ones.
You know that cognitive decline can happen as you age, but are you showing signs of dementia?
Learn about the seven stages of dementia and which symptoms present themselves during early, middle, and late dementia here.
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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.
What Are The Different Types Of Dementia
Various disorders and factors contribute to the development of dementia. Neurodegenerative disorders result in a progressive and irreversible loss of neurons and brain functioning. Currently, there are no cures for these diseases.
The five most common forms of dementia are:
- Alzheimers disease, the most common dementia diagnosis among older adults. It is caused by changes in the brain, including abnormal buildups of proteins, known as amyloid plaques and tau tangles.
- Frontotemporal dementia, a rare form of dementia that tends to occur in people younger than 60. It is associated with abnormal amounts or forms of the proteins tau and TDP-43.
- Lewy body dementia, a form of dementia caused by abnormal deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein, called Lewy bodies.
- Vascular dementia, a form of dementia caused by conditions that damage blood vessels in the brain or interrupt the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
- Mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types of dementia.
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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.
Caring For Somebody In The Later Stages Of Dementia
Caring for a person in the later stages of dementia can be rewarding, but also very challenging. When a person with dementia moves into residential care, it can have a big impact on the carer as well.
Dementia Connect support line
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Risk Factors And Prevention
Although age is the strongest known risk factor for dementia, it is not an inevitable consequence of biological ageing. Further, dementia does not exclusively affect older people young onset dementia accounts for up to 9% of cases. Studies show that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline and dementia by being physically active, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, controlling their weight, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Additional risk factors include depression, social isolation, low educational attainment, cognitive inactivity and air pollution.
Symptoms Specific To Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer’s. Some people have both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, often called “mixed dementia”.
Symptoms of vascular dementia are similar to Alzheimer’s disease, although memory loss may not be as obvious in the early stages.
Symptoms can sometimes develop suddenly and quickly get worse, but they can also develop gradually over many months or years.
Specific symptoms can include:
- stroke-like symptoms: including muscle weakness or temporary paralysis on one side of the body
- movement problems difficulty walking or a change in the way a person walks
- thinking problems having difficulty with attention, planning and reasoning
- mood changes depression and a tendency to become more emotional
Read more about vascular dementia.
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Phases Of The Condition
Some of the features of dementia are commonly classified into three stages or phases. It is important to remember that not all of these features will be present in every person, nor will every person go through every stage. However, it remains a useful description of the general progression of dementia.
- Early Dementia
- Advanced Dementia
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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How To Identify The 7 Stages Of Dementia
Dementia is a general term that encompasses different types of disorders, including Alzheimers disease, dementia with Lewy Bodies, frontotemporal dementia and others. While each type of dementia progresses differently, there are two general diagnostic models used to describe the progression of dementia: the three-stage model and the seven-stage model. With the latter, the decline of a patient is separated into more specific stages than the earlier. The seven-stage model is based off of the Global Deterioration Scale, an assessment tool created by Dr. Barry Reisberg to assist friends, family and caregivers with recognizing the clinical signs of the disease.
Prior to assessment, caregivers look at different behaviors demonstrated by the individual. Not only is memory assessed, but the persons judgment, sense of direction, personal care and daily activities are considered as well. Based on the severity of the dementia, a care plan can be devised by a physician and the individuals caregivers. In the earlier stages of dementia, an individual will still have independence and be able to perform many activities without assistance. When entering the later stages of dementia, the individual will need around-the-clock assistance for most daily activities.
The following is a summary of the seven stages of dementia, according to the model created by Dr. Reisberg:
Physical Difficulties In The Later Stages Of Dementia
The physical changes of late-stage dementia are partly why the person is likely to need much more support with daily living. At this stage they may:
- walk more slowly, with a shuffle and less steadily eventually they may spend more time in a chair or in bed
- be at increased risk of falls
- need a lot of help with eating and so lose weight
- have difficulty swallowing
- be incontinent losing control of their bladder and bowels.
The persons reduced mobility, in particular, raises their chances of blood clots and infections. These can be very serious or even fatal so it is vital that the person is supported to be as mobile as they can.
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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 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.