Dementia is a condition that affects roughly 55 million people worldwide. This often leads to drastic reductions in people’s quality of life. Due to the nature of the disease, it’s essential to detect it as early as possible for treatment reasons.
How can you identify early dementia? There are several stages of dementia, and knowing what to look out for can help you get your loved ones the treatment they need.
In this article, we’re going to look at the different stages, what they look like, and how to identify a case of early dementia.
Stages of Dementia: Mild
Early-onset symptoms may include changes in personality, mood, and behavior. Problems with speech and language are one of the symptoms. Difficulty with executive functioning skills such as planning and organization is another thing to look out for.
The early stage of dementia is characterized by mild memory loss and problems with thinking and decision-making. As the disease progresses, symptoms become more severe. It includes memory loss, disorientation, and difficulty with activities of daily living.
Middle-Stage Dementia: When to Seek Help?
There is a decline in cognitive abilities and increased reliance on others for assistance during this stage. As the disease progresses, patients may experience difficulty with basic self-care. They become more prone to wander and succumb to memory loss.
It is during this stage that patients and families should seek help from a specialist to develop a care plan. Middle-stage dementia can progress to a severe stage. Patients lose the ability to communicate and interact with others.
Endstage Dementia: Hospice and Palliative Care
Of all the stages, the endstage is the most advanced stage of the disease. There is palliative care for the patient’s comfort and their families’ mental well-being. Palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms rather than curing the disease.
Hospice care is a type of palliative care recommended for patients expected to live for six months or less. Hospice care teams typically include a doctor, nurse, social worker, and chaplain.
Living With Dementia: Support for Caregivers
Dementia is a devastating condition that affects the person with the disease and their caregivers. Those caring for someone with this disease need to be patient and understand the disease.
Caring for someone with this disease can be very demanding. Hence, the caregivers should be in optimal health.
There are also many support groups and resources available to help caregivers cope with the demands of caring for a loved one with dementia.
Dementia Is a Progressive and Fatal Disease
A healthcare professional typically diagnoses the stages of dementia after careful observation of the many symptoms.
Each stage is characterized by different symptoms and levels of decline. Early diagnosis and intervention are keys to slowing the progression of the disease and managing symptoms.
If you think you or a loved one may be showing signs of dementia, please consult a medical professional.
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