The Progression of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. It is a degenerative condition, meaning symptoms become progressively worse over time. Alzheimer’s symptoms include confusion, forgetfulness, speech problems, delusions and hallucinations.

If you’re worried about a loved one with Alzheimer’s and you need dementia care in Blackburn, read on to understand how our specially trained carers can support your loved one at every stage of the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Understanding care needs

While Alzheimer’s can have a devastating impact on individuals and families, there are ways the condition can be managed. Routine,  reminiscence activities and mental stimulation can help those living with the condition to continue enjoying their life.

Levels of care may vary as your loved one progresses through the stages of Alzheimer’s but our highly trained carers understand how to recognise when your loved one’s care needs are changing and adapt support accordingly.

The stages of Alzheimer’s disease

Generally speaking, Alzheimer’s disease is categorised into early, moderate and severe.

However, it’s important to note that the speed of progression can vary and symptoms of different stages may overlap.

Early stage:

This includes memory lapses such as forgetting names, where things are, new information and being unable to recall words, as well as difficulty performing everyday tasks and with planning or organising.

Moderate stage:  

This is typically the longest stage and when symptoms may become more distinct. The individual often feels confused and gets their words mixed up. They may display uncharacteristic behaviour such as aggression or reluctance to wash.

Symptoms include:

  • forgetting what day it is and where they are
  • forgetting personal information such as their address
  • incontinence
  • losing their bearings
  • a change in sleep patterns
  • sudden displays of emotion such as anger or frustration
  • being suspicious of people or experiencing delusions.

By this stage, your loved one may need a caregiver, whether family or professional, to assist them with daily tasks and help them feel safe when they’re experiencing confusion or heightened emotion. 

It’s important for caregivers to understand the individual’s routine and personal history to help sustain familiarity so they feel more at ease.

Severe stage

At this stage, Alzheimer’s impacts the person’s ability to communicate and respond to their environment, and their physical abilities will begin to deteriorate.

Symptoms include:

  • loss of awareness of surroundings
  • inability to recognise people
  • difficulty communicating
  • loss of mobility
  • trouble swallowing.

While it may be difficult to interact with your loved one, sensory actions such as gentle touch or playing music they enjoy are ways in which you can still connect with an individual at this stage.

How we can help

If your loved one is living with dementia and you need some respite or an extra pair of hands, our specially trained carers can provide specialist care in the comfort of their own home. 

Our friendly and compassionate approach aims to strike the necessary balance between your loved one’s emotional and physical needs, which is important with a cognitive condition like dementia.

Familiarity and routine are fundamental components of managing some Alzheimer’s symptoms, ranging from mealtimes and tea breaks to TV schedules and exercise – particularly if your loved one is displaying moderate symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Our carers also understand how meaningful activities such as looking at photographs and listening to music can keep your loved one mentally stimulated and reinforce their memory. 

To facilitate this, a care plan can be drawn up and tailored to your loved one’s needs; taking into account their routine, hobbies, likes and dislikes and any specific care requirements.

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be an emotional and difficult journey but you needn’t do it alone. Our specialist home carers can support your family, to help your loved one live their days as fully as possible. 

Give us a call on 01254 504905 to find out how we can help.