Where the progression of Alzheimer’s disease is concerned, constant research is being done as scientists continuously unravel the latest challenges. Currently, it is thought that approximately 10 or more years prior to cognitive problems (such as memory), brain damage starts. Individuals may seem symptom-free during this preclinical Alzheimer’s stage, but already taking place in the brain are specific toxic changes.
In very early preclinical Alzheimer’s in the elderly (and the brain damage that occurs), mild symptoms and signs begin to show. Symptoms may appear in someone in their mid-60s if they have the late-onset variety of Alzheimer’s. Then again, it can appear in people 30 to 60 years old if they have early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Frequently, the burden on family members and the person afflicted with cognitive issues becomes too much. Dementia patients, Alzheimer’s sufferers, etc. can receive care 24/7 – and live in a vacation-like setting – when residing at Regency Pointe, by Discovery Senior Living, in Rainbow City, Alabama.
The Stages of Alzheimer’s
There are several progressive stages to Alzheimer’s disease which are as follows:
- Early-stage or mild
- Late-stage or severe
Let’s look at the signs and symptoms of each of these.
Preclinical Alzheimer’s Signs and Symptoms
From person to person, early Alzheimer’s symptoms vary. One of the first Alzheimer’s related symptoms of cognitive impairment is memory problems, most typically. Non-memory aspects of cognition decline – think impaired judgment or reasoning, vision/spatial issues, word finding, etc. – may also occur during very early Alzheimer’s stages. “Mild cognitive impairment” may be the diagnosis for some people. Memory loss and other cognitive difficulties will be experienced more significantly as the disease progresses.
Early-Stage or Mild
Though having trouble making sense of their surroundings, this person may seem otherwise healthy. Eventually, however, to the family or the person in question, a gradual realization will occur that something is wrong. The following are preclinical symptoms:
- Increased aggression/anxiety
- Personality/mood changes
- Putting things in weird places or losing them
- Getting lost/wandering
- Trouble paying bills/handling money
- Repeating the same question again and again
- To complete normal daily tasks, it takes longer and longer
- Loss of initiative and/or spontaneity
- Bad decisions/poor judgment
- Memory loss
Here, it becomes necessary to administer more care and engage in more intense supervision. The following symptoms may arise:
- Occasional muscle twitches, repetitive movement, or statements
- Particularly in the evening or late afternoon, wondering, tearfulness, agitation, restlessness
- Outbursts of anger which are considered inappropriate
- Using vulgar language, undressing in inappropriate places or at inappropriate times, and other impulsive behaviors
- Paranoia, delusions, hallucinations
- Problems recognizing friends and family
- Difficulty getting dressed and carrying out other multiple tasks
- New situations prompt coping problems
- Attention span is shortened
- Difficulty thinking logically and organizing thoughts
- Problems with numbers, writing, reading, and language
- Can’t learn new things
- Increased confusion and memory loss
Late-Stage or Severe
For their care, severe Alzheimer’s victims completely rely on someone else and cannot communicate. As the body shuts down, the person will be in bed more and more. Symptoms include the following:
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Increased sleeping
- Grunting, moaning, or humming
- Swallowing difficulties
- Skin infections
- Weight loss
- Inability to communicate
Regency Pointe Offers SHINE® Memory Care
At Regency Pointe, by Discovery Senior Living, we pride ourselves on our exclusive SHINE® Memory Care program. The care team associated with this program has a deep understanding of precisely what Alzheimer’s and dementia patients face each and every day. Through a journey of self-discovery, our highly trained professionals will direct your loved one with empathy, care, and understanding.