Dealing with Memory Loss: 3 Stages of Dementia Explained

April 9, 2018

Dementia is a term used to describe a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Many people have issues with memory, which doesn’t necessarily mean they have a form of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. There are many different causes of memory problems. If you or a loved one is experiencing memory loss symptoms, a memory screening is a great option. Learn more about signing up for a free memory screening at our office HERE.

People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, like keeping track of their keys or wallet, leaving their neighborhood, paying their meals, and preparing food. Many dementias are considered to be progressive which means symptoms start out slowly and eventually get worse over time. Early diagnosis is key to making a plan for the best treatment with the available options and coping for what’s to come.

There are three main stages of dementia. The first stage, mild dementia, may result in sadness, anxiety, and loss of interest in activities the person diagnosed once loved. You may notice that they have difficulty with remember words or names and have a tough time with new information. As a family member or caregiver, you may be unsure of where to go or how to manage the diagnosis yourself. In the early stages, be prepared to make decisions together regarding the future and their care.

Moderate dementia is the second stage of dementia. Physical function and judgement are affected at this stage. This can be very physically and emotionally challenging for a caregiver. They may make accusations towards loved ones or get aggressive with behavior or speech.  It’s important to remember that they are not doing this on purpose. Trying to identify the root of the issue and what has triggered the behavior may help to prevent or change the outcome in the future.

The third stage is severe dementia which may require around-the-clock care. At this stage, those suffering from dementia may have trouble recognizing loved ones or caregivers. They may have limited mobility and may lack control and require assistance when it comes to restroom habits, eating, etc. This can be a very stressful time for both loved ones and caregivers.

While dealing with dementia can be difficult, research studies for potential new treatments may be an option. If someone you love is suffering from dementia, ActivMed currently has enrolling studies for those seeking new treatment options. Candidates who qualify and participate will receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and find out how you or someone you love can get involved, click HERE.

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