Dementia is a disorder that affects millions of people all around the world. It affects the mental abilities of a patient, preventing them from remembering certain details and prohibiting them from living their life the way they used to. But with the help of dementia caregivers in Chicago – and all over the US – patients are able to enjoy a happy and fruitful life despite the challenges that this disorder brings.
To prevent people from developing dementia or to spot it early on, people are encouraged to equip themselves with the necessary information regarding dementia. One of the things that they have to know are the stages of dementia and their symptoms.
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
The mild cognitive impairment or MCI stage is the first phase of dementia. People in this stage do not have any type of dementia yet although there is a huge chance that they will develop this disorder later on. One will know that their loved one is in the MCI stage when they start to lose and forget things often and they begin to find it difficult to look for the right words to express themselves. In spite of this, patients in this stage can still perform their daily tasks without needing much or any help at all.
The second stage of dementia is very much like the first phase. People in this stage suffer from forgetfulness and difficulty in finding the right words as well. However, new symptoms of dementia start to arise such as changes in personality and difficulty in performing complex tasks. Also, aside from merely forgetting certain things, patients in this stage forget particular events in their lives and find themselves getting lost in familiar places. People in the mild dementia stage will need some assistance in performing their daily activities.
The third stage of dementia is more severe. People in this phase will need round-the-clock assistance since symptoms in this stage are more serious, preventing patients from performing their daily activities on their own. Instead of self-care, home care becomes the better option as this means that a caregiver will always be around to assist your loved one with their needs. Poor judgment and significant personality changes are some of the symptoms associated with this stage of dementia. Moreover, you will know that your loved one is in the moderate dementia phase when they start to need help in doing the most basic of tasks, like bathing oneself, and their sleep pattern starts to change. If you notice that your elderly loved one seems to sleep well in the morning but is restless during the night, then they might be in the third stage of dementia as well.
A patient’s condition will continue to worsen once they reach the fourth stage of dementia. People in the severe dementia stage will not just find it challenging to find the right words, they might not be able to communicate effectively at all. Eating, grooming, and even dressing will require a lot of help so hiring a caregiver is necessary. Not only that but aging adults in this stage will experience a decline in their physical capabilities such as walking, sitting, and swallowing. In time, they will also lose control of their bladder and bowel function. People in this stage are encouraged to be more careful as they are more susceptible to developing various diseases such as pneumonia.
These are the four stages of dementia, as well as their symptoms. If you notice that your loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms above, talk to them immediately and encourage them to set an appointment with their doctor. Do not wait until they have reached the severe dementia stage for this may lead to serious consequences.