Dementia is a general term for the gradual loss of memory and intellectual abilities that interferes with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for about 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that over five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease progresses through three stages. In the first stage, there are few noticeable changes in memory and other symptoms.
Symptoms become more serious and noticeable in the moderate stage. The person will experience clear changes in mental functioning, memory loss, and confusion. He or she may have trouble recognizing family and friends and may be less concerned with hygiene and appearance. Patients with moderate Alzheimer’s disease usually experience mental decline at the fastest rate. Almost half of Alzheimer’s patients in the United States are diagnosed when they are in the moderate to severe stage.
What to Do If Your Parent Has Alzheimer’s Disease
Make a note of changes in your parent’s mental functioning and habits. Keeping a journal can help you recognize patterns in your parent’s behavior and functioning that you can share with doctors and other people who help care for him or her. It can also help you preserve fond memories of your parent.
If your parent is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and you have taken on the role of caregiver, you will need to seek help from others. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is a difficult job that you should not try to handle all by yourself. Other family members may be able to help with some aspects of care. You may also want to hire a caregiver to help your parent with daily activities, such as cooking, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, and medication reminders.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. This is why it is so important to take care of yourself. Make time to take breaks, relax, and spend time with your family and friends doing things you enjoy.
How to Help Your Parent Remain Independent for as Long as Possible
If your parent is still able to participate in discussions and decision making, talk about ways that he or she can live independently for as long as possible. Dependable Care has a team of trained and compassionate caregivers who have helped many patients in Connecticut who are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
We can assist your parent with daily activities and engage him or her in pleasant conversation to promote mental and social engagement. Contact us today so we can match your parent with a caregiver who can provide assistance with Alzheimer’s care and help your parent remain independent at home for as long as possible.