It can be very alarming and upsetting when you notice your parent’s health declining as they age. It’s especially difficult when your parent experiences a form of memory impairment like Alzheimer’s disease. Watching your parent begin to forget who you are or struggle to remember information about themselves can be heartbreaking and emotionally draining.
If your parent has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you may not know what this diagnosis means and how it will impact your parent’s health and well-being. While there’s unfortunately no cure, understanding what your parent will experience at each stage and what you can expect may help.
7 Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
According to the Fisher Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Research program, there are seven distinct stages of Alzheimer’s disease that occur as time passes.
- Normal. This is the pre-stage before your loved one experiences any symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. At this pre-stage, your loved one may be potentially free of symptoms of cognitive decline and free of behavioral changes.
- Normal Aged Forgetfulness. During this stage, your loved one may have difficulty with tasks like recalling family member names or other personal details that they could recall previously. You might also notice your loved one starting to struggle with their concentration and remembering where they placed personal objects.
- Mild Cognitive Impairment. During this stage, you may notice that your loved one has started to repeat themselves often. They may also be experiencing difficulty planning or attending social events and may have noticeably higher levels of anxiety and psychological stress.
- Mild Alzheimer’s Disease. This stage is when your loved one will display significant signs of Alzheimer’s disease and a diagnosis of the disease can be made accurately. Your loved one may begin to show a decreased ability to complete simple daily activities like cooking, cleaning or driving to the store. Symptoms of overall impairment may be evident in your loved one, and you may notice that they don’t recall things like what day of the week it is or a recent experience they had.
- Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. In the moderate stage, your loved one’s condition will slightly worsen, and they may be unable to do normal activities like choosing proper clothing to wear and recalling major events and aspects of their current lives, and they may have a hard time with simple calculations.
- Moderate to Severe Alzheimer’s Disease. It is at this stage that your loved one will no longer be able to perform most of their basic daily activities. Your loved one will most likely require assistance with simple, everyday chores that they used to be able to complete independently. It is in this stage that your loved one would benefit the most from being in a memory care community, as they will require assistance with things like bathing and getting dressed every day.
- Severe Alzheimer’s Disease. In this final, and most severe stage, your loved one will require constant assistance with everyday activities. You may also notice your loved one’s speech has become harder to comprehend and that they’re unable to have a normal conversation with you like they used to. As the seventh stage progresses, you may notice your loved one is no longer able to sit up on their own and that their overall range of motion has severely decreased.
Experience Compassionate Memory Care at Saint Simeon’s
At Saint Simeon’s, we understand that a loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis can be a very emotional and confusing event to deal with. That’s why we offer your loved one the option of residing in our memory care community.
Our memory care center is nationally recognized for Alzheimer’s and dementia care in the Tulsa area, and has been providing a safe, home-like community to people for nearly 25 years. Our memory care center is designed to provide your loved one with the highest quality care while also allowing them to maintain a level of fulfilling independence for as long as possible.
To learn more about all of the services and amenities our memory care center can provide you, please contact us today at 918-215-2965 to talk with one of our friendly staff members.