Ultimate Guide to Memory Care: What You Need to Know About Dementia and Alzheimer’s DiseaseIn Home Care2020-06-18T17:08:56+00:00
What You Need to Know About Memory Care, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease
What is Memory Care?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an average of 7 in 10 adults over the age of 65 will require long-term care at some point in their lives. Another statistic reads that 68% of older adults in residential care or nursing homes have some degree of cognitive impairment. With those facts in mind, many Americans are on the search for a memory care facility for their aging parents. We are here to help you find the perfect memory care living situation for your parent with dementia and other memory problems.
Memory care is a residential care facility, or community or unit of a residential care facility, that’s been set up and designed specifically to meet the increasing needs of people who have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.
What is the difference between Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?
Dementia is a general term for the progressive decline in one’s memory and mental ability, severe enough to interfere with their daily lives. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause for Dementia. Alzheimer’s is actually a specific disease, whereas Dementia is not.
What is Dementia
Dementia is the name for a group of brain disorders which affect one’s ability to remember things, think clearly, control one’s emotions, and make sound decisions… A person with dementia would have a hard time with two or more of the following: communication and speech, memory decline, concentration and focus, judgement and reasoning skills, and visual perceptions.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia in which an individual develops problems with their memory, thinking, logic and behavior. Generally, Alzheimer’s symptoms will slowly increase in severity over time, eventually becoming disabling to the point of significant interference with one’s daily tasks.
Click one of the articles below to learn more about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Learn more about how you can help your loved ones with in home care. When Should You Move To Memory Care? Finding a memory care facility [...]
Stages of Memory Loss
What are the stages of memory loss?
When a loved one is diagnosed with a form of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, it is crucial that you educate yourself on the various stages of memory loss, so that you can understand the changes in behavior and abilities they may go through as the disease progresses.
The only way to ensure that you are choosing the most effective course of action for your loved one’s treatment and care, is with personal knowledge of the various stages of dementia, as well as the help of doctors and caregivers. By taking the time to educate yourself, your loved one can enjoy a better quality of life, and you can relax with peace of mind knowing they are receiving the level of care required for the stage of memory loss they are in.
There are 7 stages of memory loss in dementia patients. The following stages of memory loss are based on the Reisberg Scale, developed by Dr. Berry Reisberg of New York University. Keep in mind, the exact stage your loved one is in should be determined by their doctor through tests and examinations.
Stage 1: Normal / No Cognitive Decline
Diagnosis – No Dementia
During this stage, the person will be functioning normally and won’t exhibit any signs of memory loss, he or she is mentally healthy and clear. People without dementia, and who are able to take care of themselves and function independently, belong in this stage.
Stage 2: Very Mild Cognitive Decline / Normal “Aging Forgetfulness”
Expected Duration of Stage 2 – Unknown
Diagnosis– No Dementia
In stage 2, it is common for the patient to start showing signs of short-term memory loss, such as names and where familiar places are, or where objects they use frequently belong. The behavior displayed during this stage is often associated with normal aging, or age-related memory loss. Generally speaking, symptoms of dementia are not evident to the patient’s physician or loved ones.
Stage 3: Mild Cognitive Decline
Expected Duration of Stage 3 – Average duration is between 2 and 7 years
Diagnosis – No Dementia
When a patient is in stage 3 of memory loss, they will start to exhibit signs of an increase in difficulty concentrating, increased forgetfulness, and decreased ability to work and perform at work. You may begin to notice the patient is having a hard time coming up with the right words when speaking, and may start to get lost or “wander” more frequently. This is the stage when loved ones and the physician of the patient will start to notice a decline in cognitive ability, or cognitive impairment.
Stage 4: Moderate Cognitive Decline
Expected Duration of Stage 4– Average duration is 2 years
Diagnosis – Early Stage Dementia
In stage 4, patients will have a difficult time concentrating, decreased ability to remember things – including recent events, and struggle with tasks such as managing finances or traveling alone to new locations. Often times, patients show trouble completing complex tasks accurately or efficiently, and may be in denial about their symptoms and/or condition. During stage 4, a patient can start exhibiting withdrawing behaviors, avoiding family or friends due to the fact that socialization has grown to be much more difficult. Physicians are able to detect a clear cognitive problem when patients are interviewed or examined during an appointment.
Stage 5: Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline
Expected Duration of Stage 5 – Average duration of this stage is 1.5 years
Diagnosis – Mid-Stage Dementia
Major changes in one’s ability to remember things, or recite memories, is often found in stage 5 of memory loss. Assistance in completing activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, grooming, cooking, etc. is likely needed during this stage. Signs of memory loss are significant, and patients may start to forget highly relevant aspects of their current lives, such as their address or telephone number. They may also struggle to remember what day it is, what time of day it is, or where they are.