Dementia is an umbrella term to describe several diseases and conditions that affect an individual’s cognitive functioning in the brain, memory, problem-solving skills, and the ability to perform everyday activities. It is debilitating and can be draining on the person living with Dementia, their friends, and their family. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of Dementia.
When someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, or another type of Dementia, you must put a long-term health plan in place. Unfortunately, Dementia is not currently a disease that can be cured. With time, it will progress and your loved one’s ability to live independently will decrease.
It’s a difficult and confusing time for everyone involved, and the most important thing is to ensure that the person living with Dementia is comfortable and that he or she is treated with the utmost respect and compassion.
There are many ways to offer support and care these days for Seniors. Integracare specializes in providing at home Dementia care in Toronto and Mississauga. We’re committed to serving Seniors who prefer to stay in place within the comforts of their own home. We believe that Seniors have the right to choose to age at home where they can live with dignity and feel safe.
It’s disorienting to be told that someone you love is going to change over time, and it’s even more perplexing for the person living with Dementia. If it’s medically sustainable, allow them to remain at home. It’s difficult to have to transfer out of a familiar place that you know and love. Avoid further turmoil and consider at-home health care.
At Integracare, we deliver the highest quality home healthcare services directly to you, your friend or family member, wherever you or they call home. Our highly trained, certified and registered, experienced staff of Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) are there to support your loved one as their disease progresses.
We offer up to 24-hour support, including live-in PSWs who can provide the highest quality care and assist with daily tasks, drug and medicine maintenance, and more.
Regardless of how complex the disease is, we are there to provide professional and compassionate support. Our main intention is to help our Clients maintain their independence and increase their quality of life and to help you to rest a little easier knowing that they’re in good hands.
There are seven major stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Here is what you can expect when someone close to you has been diagnosed with the disease.
Prior to Diagnosis: No Dementia
Before a proper diagnosis, there may be regular symptoms of natural aging such as occasionally forgetting details such as someone’s birthday or the name of an acquaintance. This is also sometimes known as Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.
This is a difficult stage because it can last for years and is often easy to dismiss. If you notice symptoms worsening, take your loved one to a professional.
Stage One: No Impairment
In the initial stage, there are no signs of Dementia. Individuals function as they typically would and appear mentally healthy. Alzheimer’s disease is undetectable and this stage is often referred to as No Cognitive Decline.
Stage Two: Very Mild Cognitive Decline
In the second stage, the person living with Alzheimer’s disease starts to experience forgetfulness that is often associated with aging. They may forget where they left their car keys or misplace their purse. Typically family members or a physician do not notice these symptoms. However, be mindful and watch to see if memory loss persists.
Stage Three: Mild Cognitive Decline
People in this stage experience heightened forgetfulness and slight difficulty with concentration and focus. There may be a decrease in work performance if the individual is still working, and otherwise, there may be a decreased performance in everyday household tasks such as paying bills and personal grooming. At this stage, someone living with Dementia may get lost and it may be difficult for them to stay within conversations and to find the right words in communication.
Integracare also offers Palliative care for Clients who require additional assistance on top of regular Dementia Care or Personal Support. Palliative Care is a multifaceted approach to healthcare, and it’s designed to make Clients feel as comfortable as possible when they’ve been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
Because Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease only worsens as it progresses it is recommended that Clients incorporate Palliative Care with other types of health care once the diagnosis is made.
Putting a plan into place as soon as possible is ideal because you won’t have a lot of time to organize or facilitate additional health care quickly as Alzheimer’s disease or another type of Dementia advances.
Our Palliative Care Caregivers are trained to be gentle, compassionate, and kind to all Clients. The ultimate goal for Palliative care is to manage physical and emotional pain caused by medical treatments and the illness itself. In this stage of Alzheimer’s disease, you’ll want to explore Palliative Care options with Integracare.
We understand how hard all of this can be, but with us by your side, you, your loved one, and your family will never have to tackle this stage of life alone.
Stage Four: Early Stage Dementia to Moderate Cognitive Decline
This is what is clinically referred to as early-stage Dementia. At this stage the person will experience:
- Increased forgetfulness
- Forgetting recent events
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty with problem-solving
- A hard time managing finances
Individuals may also experience challenges when travelling to unfamiliar places by themselves and they have difficulty performing tasks with complexity and organizing and expressing their thoughts.
Stage Five: Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline
People at this stage may require the assistance of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation. Memory loss is severe, with individuals often forgetting pertinent bits of information that can affect their daily life — such as their phone number or home address. They may forget what day, or even what year it is.
This stage usually lasts for about one and a half years.
To avoid further confusion and stress, consider how in-home Dementia care in Toronto or wherever you are in the GTA will alleviate additional complications. Our Caregiving team is there to provide comfort and compassion.
Communicating with individuals in Stage Five Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult. Our Caregivers are specifically trained to empathize with people living with Dementia and how to cope in every situation. They will educate you and your family with coping mechanisms and how to react when a loved one exhibits challenging symptoms.
Stage Six: Severe Cognitive Decline
This stage is also known as Middle Dementia, and it’s a period in which a person requires a great deal of assistance to carry out daily activities. They will likely have little memory of recent events and the names of family members or close friends.
They may have limited memory of their early lives and will have difficulty completing tasks and successfully exhibiting cognitive skills such as counting backward from twenty.
Noticeable personality changes may occur at this stage, as individuals may suffer from anxiety, delusions, or agitation. This stage typically lasts for approximately two years.
Stage Seven: Very Severe Cognitive Decline
This is also described as Late Stage Dementia, and it is the final stage in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. At this stage, most people will have lost their ability to speak and communicate. They often require assistance with most of their activities including eating, dressing, toileting, bathing, and more.
It is the stage when individuals will need 24-hour care and support. This stage may last on average approximately two and a half years.
Remember that there are different types of Dementia and that Alzheimer’s disease is just one of many, although it is the most common. Symptoms differ among types of Dementia, but sadly, they all follow a similar process. The disease will gradually intensify and it’s critical to start planning for Home Care now.
Integracare’s Dementia and Home Care services will alleviate additional stress of moving into a nursing or assisted living facility. We offer a private, compassionate alternative to Senior health care and apply integrity and humanity to everything we do.