It can be scary to witness your parent becoming more and more forgetful as he ages, but how can you tell if it’s age-related memory lapses or if it’s something more serious, such as Alzheimer’s?
While there are other types of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type and is divided into three stages. Here is the breakdown of the stages to help you understand when it might be time to look for additional help for your parent.
The Three Stages of Alzheimer’s
Early Stage (Mild Alzheimer’s disease):
Your loved one may feel more forgetful than usual at this stage of dementia, and you may recognize difficulties such as trouble planning or remembering names of people he just met. Unlike age-related memory lapses where your parent may still be able to retrace his steps after losing something or remember a name later, an early sign of dementia could be your parent forgetting how they got somewhere or repeatedly asking for the same information. At this stage of dementia, it may be time to think about residential dementia and memory care before your parent starts showing signs of the later stages of dementia.
Middle Stage (Moderate Alzheimer’s disease):
At this stage, your loved one may remember significant details about their life, but they may be having a harder time performing daily tasks, such as turning on a microwave. He might even have wandered away from home or started showing changes in his behavior. This would be the stage to start researching memory care providers near you.
Late Stage (Severe Alzheimer’s disease):
At this stage, your parent may be having trouble communicating or even swallowing. Your loved one may need around-the-clock assistance with their daily activities at this stage of dementia, which is where trained memory care support professionals can make sure your parent has access to the therapies they need and are kept safe with 24/7 care, giving you peace of mind.
Contact a doctor if you’re noticing signs of dementia
As soon as you start seeing some of the early signs of dementia, it’s best to contact your parent’s doctor to get your loved one the help he needs to help him live well with the disease.
Proper dementia and memory care can help your parent manage the disease to help keep him physically and mentally active. By researching facilities now, you can rest assured your parent will be well taken care of if he is diagnosed with dementia.
For more information about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, visit the Alzheimer’s Association.