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What to Expect With a Loved One During the Different Stages of Dementia

Dementia is a disease that affects around 47 million people worldwide. Finding out a loved has this disease is never good news. There is currently no cure for Dementia, and the stages of this disease often progress quickly. Doctors typically break down Dementia into seven main stages. Understanding how these stages work is vital if you suspect that one of your close relatives may have this disease.

Stages 1 through 3: The Pre-Dementia Stages

The first three stages of Dementia are hard to notice most of the time, and doctors often refer to these as the pre-Dementia stages. The most common symptom in the first three stages of Dementia is memory loss.

Your loved one might start experiencing trouble remembering names, dates or basic types of information. He or she might start losing things more often or start forgetting to complete normal daily tasks. People in one of the first stages of Dementia might also get lost when they leave their homes or they might ask you the same questions repeatedly, simply because they forgot they had just asked.

When a loved one experiences these signs, you assume memory loss is a natural and normal part of aging. While this is true in some cases, there are people who live to very old ages who never lose their memories. People with Dementia will probably experience these symptoms more often than usual, enough that you’ll begin to notice.

If your loved one demonstrates similar types of memory loss to the things mentioned here, you might want to keep a close eye on him or her to see if the memory loss progresses or remains the same. If it progresses, you might want to convince your loved one to visit a doctor for an evaluation.

Stages 4 and 5: Mild to Moderate Cognitive Decline

During the next two stages of Dementia, you are likely to notice a lot of changes in your loved one. A common trait of stage four is defensiveness. People going through stages four or five are likely to deny they have a problem. This defensiveness is not intentional, they simply don’t believe they have a problem. They cannot recognize the issues they are experiencing.

People in stages four or five also begin experiencing a lot of problems completing normal daily tasks. They may no longer eat meals each day, simply because they forget. They may stop bathing, cleaning their homes and taking care of their pets. They may forget to pay bills, and they may no longer leave their home.

You may also notice that you can no longer hold a normal conversation with your loved one as his or her confusion might prevent it. In addition, your loved one may begin to forget who you are in stages four or five of Dementia. This can be a heartbreaking experience for you. Try to remember that your loved one's brain no longer works like it once did and that forgetting is normal with Dementia.

Stages 6 and 7: Severe Dementia        

The last two stages of Dementia are the most critical. During these last stages, your loved one may no longer act at all like he or she once did. People tend to act aggressively during these stages. The typically lose sight of all memories and do not even realize where they are or who they are.

Many people in the last two stages start forgetting to do normal things, like using the bathroom. Some will stop talking, and others may stop walking and moving around.

If your parent or close relative is demonstrating symptoms of Dementia, they may eventually need to move to a place where they can receive full-time care. St. Francis Assisted Care is a facility that offers outstanding care for people suffering from Dementia. Give us a call today if you would like more information about our services.

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