When a family member is diagnosed with dementia, it can be a confusing and overwhelming time. Many decisions must be made about care, living arrangements, and how to best support your loved one.
Belleview Suites at DTC provides data-based Alzheimer’s care in Denver for seniors in nearly all stages of dementia. Our community is a resource for learning more about memory loss.
This blog post will look at the various stages of Alzheimer’s and discuss the types of long-term care available for seniors with dementia.
The Three Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a progressive condition that worsens over time. Seniors with Alzheimer’s will typically go through three primary stages:
- Early-stage (mild)
- Middle-stage (moderate)
- Late-stage (severe)
Each stage is associated with different symptoms and requires different levels of care. Every person experiences Alzheimer’s differently. Prepare for what comes next by understanding the various stages of Alzheimer’s.
During the mild stage or development of Alzheimer’s, seniors may experience some forgetfulness and have difficulty recalling recent events. They may also have trouble retaining new information. Balancing a checkbook or following a recipe can become a chore.
Mild Alzheimer’s usually doesn’t interfere too much with day-to-day life. Many people in this stage are still able to live independently.
Contact your family doctor immediately if you suspect your loved one is developing memory loss dementia. Many times people go undiagnosed until the moderate stage of Alzheimer’s.
The Symptoms of Early-Stage Alzheimer’s
- Losing concentration
- Avoiding work duties
- Hiding from social situations
- Forgetting new information
- Forgetting appointments
- Unable to make plans
- Losing essential objects
- Forgetting new people or new information
In the moderate stage of Alzheimer’s, seniors experience more significant memory loss and cognitive decline.
They may have difficulty remembering familiar people and places. Withdrawing from social activities or exhibiting mood changes is common.
Those in the moderate stage of Alzheimer’s typically need assistance with day-to-day tasks. Some can still live independently with help from family members or caregivers.
The Symptoms of Middle-Stage Alzheimer’s:
- A pronounced decline in short-term memory
- Sudden mood changes
- Anxiety and depression
- Misusing words
- Repetitive speech and movements
- Slower speaking and response time
- Forgetting addresses and phone numbers
- Unable to manage money
- Sundowning and irregular sleep patterns
- Increasing confusion and wandering
The severe stage of Alzheimer’s is characterized by severe memory loss and profound cognitive decline. Seniors in this stage require round-the-clock care as they can no longer perform basic self-care tasks.
They may also become increasingly agitated or anxious and require specialized care to manage their behaviors.
The Symptoms of Late-Stage Alzheimer’s:
- Mobility loss
- Severe memory loss
- Inability to communicate
- Requiring eating assistance
- Requiring help with all activities of daily living
- Requiring 24-hour supervision
Levels of Long-Term Care for Seniors with Dementia
As you can see, the needs of seniors with Alzheimer’s will change with progression. That’s why it’s crucial to have a plan in place for long-term care. Several types of long-term care options are available, including:
- Home care
- Skilled nursing
- Assisted living
- Memory care
Home care is a good option for seniors who need assistance but don’t require constant supervision. Home care services can be provided regularly or as needed.
About 44 hours of home care per week is more expensive than assisted living in Denver. Services typically include:
- Light housekeeping
- Errand running
- Personal care
- Medication reminders
Family members are often the first to offer home care services. Nearly 160,000 people provide Alzheimer’s care to a relative in Colorado alone.
Assisted living is the next step from home care. It provides 24/7 supervision and assistance with bathing, dressing, and grooming. Assisted living communities typically offer social activities and outings, opportunities for enrichment and learning, and access to on-site health services.
Skilled nursing or nursing homes are best suited for seniors who need constant medical supervision. Their residents typically have a chronic illness or serious injury. Skilled nursing facilities provide around-the-clock nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other rehabilitative services.
A person with dementia can visit these facilities for rehabilitation or chronic condition treatment. However, the social and activity aspect may not suit a person with dementia long-term.
Memory care is a residential care community that meets the needs of seniors with dementia. They provide a secure environment with specialized programming and staff training.
Memory care communities typically offer things like:
- Structured activities designed to stimulate cognition
- Ample opportunities for socialization and interaction
- Personalized meal plans
- Environments that are easy to navigate
- Specialized security measures
Belleview Suites at DTC: Alzheimer’s Care in South Denver
In Denver’s Tech Center neighborhood, Belleview Suites at DTC provides a data-based approach to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Our assisted living and memory care community delivers top-notch amenities and a wide range of personalized services. We also offer an engaging program called Connections.
Dr. Sandra Petersen is the creator of the Connections program, a memory care program offered in Pegasus Senior Living communities. The program is based on Dr. Petersen’s experience as a practitioner and her own experience with a stroke.
She was able to recover from the stroke through a process called neuroplasticity. Recovery was accomplished by challenging the brain and body with movement and learning.
The same process can slow memory loss. Our specialized team members provide engagement and socialization to residents in addition to personalized care. We remove the burden from family members and increase the quality of life for those with memory loss.
Visit Alzheimer’s Care at Belleview Suites at DTC
Belleview Suites at DTC offers compassionate care and support throughout nearly every stage. Visit us if you care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s in Denver.
The Connections program provides personalized assistance with activities of daily living, engaging social activities, and around-the-clock supervision.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one.