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Stages of Alzheimers

opaline

Registered User
Nov 13, 2014
182
How do you define 'stages of Alzheimers'? Mum was diagnosed with early stages last July, which, I think, are loss of short-term memory, forgetting words and getting people confused. How do I know when she's on the next stage? And what is it, roughly? Hope this makes sense, x
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
Hi opaline :)

I am wary of looking too far into the future, as we none of us know what it holds....good or bad. Also, every person with Alzheimer's remains an individual, who will change, develop and respond differently and at their own pace. As may posters on here demonstrate, it is possible to live a good and fulfilling life with Alzheimer's.

Having said that, I know when my mum was first diagnosed, I was desperate to have some idea of stages. So, for what it's worth, here is one summary:

http://www.alzinfo.org/understand-alzheimers/clinical-stages-of-alzheimers/

Please do keep in mind though that everyone is different, and many people never reach the last stages. Also, I have found that I can handle things now, which at the beginning seemed really challenging.

So, take it all with a good pinch of salt :)

All the best :)

Lindy xx
 
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MrsTerryN

Registered User
Dec 17, 2012
769
opaline as Lindy says it can be different all round. My mother was diagnosed some years ago. Mum is now moderate to severe with bits of both.
Her speech is quite poor as is her short term memory in general. Having said that mum can remember some things I can never pick which ones.
She often forgets my name and refers to me as mother.
I know it it's helpful to have some idea as to the progression but people don't progress consistently on the laid out stages.
 

Grey Lad

Registered User
Sep 12, 2014
5,736
North East Lincs
I always think that Teepa Snow has an interesting approach to stages with dementia. She also makes helpful suggestions about how to react as a carer as the condition progresses. Lots of helpful hints from Teepa on the Web.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
Personally, I've always been dubious about 'the stages'.

When you speak to other carers or read what they have written on TP you find that often people have a cluster of symptoms which might well include a few from each 'stage'. If you raise this with a 'true believer' in the stages, they will tell you that you should only view the stages as a rough guide.

It's actually very, very rough. It seems to take no account of the fact that there are so many different kinds of dementia - possibly as many as there are people with dementia.

And I worry that if a carer is led to believe that the person cared for is, for example, in the 'late stages', they will treat them accordingly and this may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A carer recently reported on TP that when she asked a medic what stage her mum had reached he told her that they didn't do stages anymore 'because everyone's different'. So it may be that a rethink is underway.

Perhaps the message is finally getting through. Instead of consulting the stages, carers could usefully focus on what the PWD can and can't do then look for ways of compensating for the things they can't do and helping them to maintain the abilities they still have.

I'm fascinated to see that there are a number of different versions of the stages floating about. And that they all seem to be based around odd numbers - 3 stages, 5 stages, 7 stages, never, you notice, around even numbers. It reminds me of the magical numbers of myths and fairy stories.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,176
68
Dundee
That's why I prefer the way they're described in my two video clip links.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,035
Scotland
If only I had known

Various useful bits of info. What a difference it would have made had I known about this in the years running up to John's diagnosis. I would have recognised many of the behaviours for what they are instead of excusing his lack of judgement and insight on the grounds of poor hearing or old age.

A wider discussion of these issues, a greater awareness of dementia, a recognition of symptoms in the same way we publicise stroke and cancer would possibly save marriages and get earlier treatment for individuals who could then plan their futures better.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,176
68
Dundee
I've just watched the two video clips again and I like her emphasis on the importance of carers. Bill is between stage 2 and 3 in her description of the progression. More 3 really.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
Yes, they're very useful videos Izzy - thanks! I agree about the stress on carers and also the overarching importance of dignity. What a pity that so few people worldwide have watched them!
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,176
68
Dundee
Yes, they're very useful videos Izzy - thanks! I agree about the stress on carers and also the overarching importance of dignity. What a pity that so few people worldwide have watched them!
I know. I first saw them when I was doing the Universityy of Tasmania Online Clurse on Understanding Dementia. It was an excellent course.
 

opaline

Registered User
Nov 13, 2014
182
Thanks for all the replies, I didn't know these videos were on youtube or, indeed, that there were online courses available, x
 

Padraig

Registered User
Dec 10, 2009
1,039
Hereford
Never knew about 'stages' nor for that matter was concerned. I just accepted what was happening and learned along the way. The stage I reached was 'to expect the unexpected' and I learned not to be disappointed. Had I listened to the trained people and followed their mind-set, I have no doubt that my late wife would not have survived as long as she did, plus had a good quality of life. When I removed her from a Nursing Home she was bedridden on a air mattress. After a number of months at home, I was not prepared to accept being told she was near the end. Each day I lifted her into her wheelchair and took her outdoors.

At no stage was she ever prescribed medication for Alzheimer's. While she was in Hospital and a Nursing Home they gave her medication to keep her quiet, without my knowledge. When I discovered I was outraged and had trouble controlling my temper. No wonder I lost faith in the system.

A lot of my wife's illnesses had nothing to do with Dementia but side effect due to ignorance and poor quality care. Pressure sores and poor oral hygiene are just two areas I discovered led to other problems.
The question I kept asking myself was; how would I feel in her shoes? The answer: angry, frustrated with items 'disappearing' when I've put them away in a safe place, not being allowed to 'go home to my parents', 'strangers' in my house that I'm told are not there.
Her pain and frustrations were real and I went along with them. Medication was not my answer but rather attempt to share the burden.
Sorry for the long post, just my 'crazy' approach to caring.
 

opaline

Registered User
Nov 13, 2014
182
Thanks for that, Izzy, have registered my expression of interest and they will be in touch in due course which they said would be this year, x
 

JigJog

Registered User
Nov 6, 2013
237
I did this course too and would certainly recommend it.

In fact, things with my OH have changed since I did the course and I think I would benefit from doing it again. :)
 
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