So what are the stages of Dementia, being able to have a better understanding of the stages of dementia can be beneficial in caring for and supporting a family member or friend to live well with Dementia.
The effects of Dementia can have an impact on the lives of everyone on the Dementia Journey, including, family members and friends of those we love or living with Dementia. Being able to recognise the possible signs of Dementia in their early stages can enable the family to put into place more assistance to allow for the Dementia Journey to be more supportive for all concerned.
Our Care Assistants/ Workers are trained in Dementia and while caring for many of our clients who are living well with Dementia, can identify any changes taking place and adapt the care to support these changes. The following can be identified as the early signs of Dementia and possible behaviour, emotional and cognitive changes that may take place, but each person is an individual and although there are similarities every situation may differ.
Dementia can be grouped into three stages – Early, Middle and Late Stage Dementia
In the Early Stage there may be no noticeable changes to your loved one. The changes in the brain may not show in the person’s behaviour and may not be picked up by family and friends. However, there may be a noticeable loss of memory, especially short-term memory. Many people connect memory loss with Dementia, and this will be the first noticeable difference in their loved one that the family and friends notice. Sometimes forgetfulness is attributed to general old age and may well go largely ignored. The frequency of this kind of memory lapse is a clue in the early stages as to whether it may be something more serious – continually forgetting names, remembering where everyday objects have been left or forgetting appointments. Your loved one will be aware of the change in their memory and become concerned and mention their concern. They also learn coping methods to overcome their loss of memory, one example is of making lists.
During the Middle Stage of Dementia, family and friends become more aware of the loss of short-term memory and the change in behaviour of their loved one will become more pronounced. Everyday tasks may become more difficult or are completely forgotten and even things like remembering what their loved one had for breakfast becomes a challenge. It’s at this point that our Care Assistant/ Workers will mention to the family their concerns and the family may consider a visit to the doctor for a Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) or the Folstein test may be done. This test is a 30-minute test to measure cognitive impairment and is commonly used to screen for Dementia. Another possible test that Doctors ask for is an MRI which can show if there is any deterioration in the brain. Depending on the results, dementia may be diagnosed by the doctor.
As your loved ones Dementia progresses, they may need more help and assistance with their day to day tasks. At Bright Dawn Home Care, we have specialised in Alzheimer’s and Dementia care in Solihull for more than 12 years and we believe that the earlier we can offer our care service the better for everyone, even if we provide an hour a day, to help support not only your loved one but the family as well. This can be very difficult time for everyone as they come to terms with the many changes taking place. Supporting the family and the person living with Dementia can help to make their Journey comfortable. We can assist people with everyday tasks such as dressing, cooking, toileting and continuing to enjoy the social part of life, like visiting places they visited previously or going out for a meal. Encouraging independence and continuing to support their hobbies and interests is vital in retaining their sense of self-worth. Reminiscing with your loved one through completing a memory book and looking at old photographs especially listening to music and songs is a great way to bring back past experiences and old memories. Bright Dawn Home Care ensures that each Client has the same Care Assistant / Worker visiting them this is especially important in Dementia as consistency of care is important to build relationships and ensure that the care is built on friendships rather than task driven . This relationship will be important in the late stages of Dementia as the Care Assistant/ knows the person well and can use this knowledge to ensure that the best quality care is given at this time.
During The last stage of Dementia, the person living with Dementia will not be able to complete any daily tasks without assistance and will need to have all their personal and emotional needs met by their Care Assistant/ Worker. Confusion becomes more frequent based on their surroundings and the people around them. Remaining in their own home is important. Stimulating their memories through music they remember and through their senses like touch and smells that they enjoyed for example a specific perfume, the smell of apple pie or a favourite food, soft toys to cuddle.
We, at Bright Dawn Home Care are always on hand to provide this level of care 24/7 through our Live in Care support and have supported many families and their loved ones in Solihull Borough and surrounding areas over the years.
If you notice that your loved one is experiencing any of these cognitive or behavioural changes or you are concerned about someone you know then we are happy to help or give advice on a situation that you may find yourself in.
Please remember that you don’t have to be alone in supporting a family member or friend. Our staff are vastly experienced Care Assistants / Workers offering different levels of support from daily care to comprehensive live in care services please Contact Us here or call the team on 01564 784 598 and we can provide the support and advice you need.