If your loved one is diagnosed with dementia, it is understandable if the future seems a little darker. However, educating yourself about dementia’s progression can help you understand what is happening to your loved one, so you can make better decisions about their care. At Poet’s Walk, we have been providing the highest quality of senior memory care to the residents of our senior assisted living facilities for years, and we are happy to help you through the stages of your loved one’s dementia.
Stages of Dementia
Many medical professionals break dementia into 7 stages of progression, marked by varying degrees of symptoms and requiring different levels of care and attention:
No Cognitive Decline
No symptoms and no diagnosis of dementia occur in this stage.
Very Mild Cognitive Decline
General “forgetfulness” associated with aging may occur, such as with names, locations of objects. Individuals are not yet classified as having dementia.
Mild Cognitive Decline
|More forgetfulness will occur, as well as some difficulties concentrating and decreased work performance. Individuals may get lost or forget terms. Cognitive decline may be evident to loved ones. Lasts around 7 years before the onset of dementia.||As usual. Your loved one may wish to make estate preparations.|
Moderate Cognitive Decline
|Difficulties with concentration will occur, as well as short-term memory loss. Finances and traveling may be hard, if not impossible, for them to manage on their own. Patients may be in denial about symptoms. Difficulties socializing may occur. Interview and/or examination may indicate clear cognitive issues. Lasts around 2 years.||Ensure patient continues to socialize and exercise regularly. You may wish to start memory care therapy.|
Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline
|Significant memory issues will be seen, and the will likely require assistance with ADLs (activities of daily living), like dressing, cleaning, preparing meals. Difficulty remembering major life events or details of current life may occur, like address or phone number. Lasts around 1.5 years.||You or a hired caregiver will need to assist with ADLs. Continued memory care activities, regular exercise, and socializing. May need to modify the home to ensure safety.|
Severe Cognitive Decline or “Middle Dementia”
|Individuals will require extensive assistance with ADLs, and may start to forget the names of close family members and recent events. At the same time, they may remember a few details of earlier life. Difficulties may be had with tasks like simple counting. Incontinence, speech problems, anxiety, depression, compulsions, delusions, and personality changes may be present. Lasts approximately 2.5 years.||Major assistance with ADLs will be needed, as well as memory care and mental health care. Sensory stimulation therapy may be helpful and you may consider moving them into an assisted living facility.|
Very Severe Cognitive Decline or “Late Dementia”
|Individuals in this stage will have difficulty communicating and they will require assistance with almost every activity. Motor skills will be impaired – inability walking, for example. Lasts around 2.5 years.||If your loved one is still residing at home, it may be time for them to move into an assisted living facility to ensure proper senior care.|
Here to Support You and Your Loved One with Dementia
The capable caregivers at Poet’s Walk have extensive experience in memory care, which includes nutritious diet plans, customized exercise plans for each senior resident, pet therapy (our PAW program), and sensory stimulation therapy. We’re pleased to help you provide your loved one with the care and attention they deserve.
Contact Poet’s Walk today – we’d be happy to answer any questions you have about your loved one’s dementia.