1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. opaline

    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
     
  2. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,302
    Cotswolds
    #2 Lindy50, Mar 7, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
    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
     
  3. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    182
    Thanks for that, Lindy, x
     
  4. MrsTerryN

    MrsTerryN Registered User

    Dec 17, 2012
    773
    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.
     
  5. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    5,737
    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.
     
  6. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,602
    Female
    Dundee
    #6 Izzy, Mar 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  7. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,659
    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.
     
  8. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,602
    Female
    Dundee
    That's why I prefer the way they're described in my two video clip links.
     
  9. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,861
    Female
    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.
     
  10. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,602
    Female
    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.
     
  11. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,659
    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!
     
  12. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,602
    Female
    Dundee
    I know. I first saw them when I was doing the Universityy of Tasmania Online Clurse on Understanding Dementia. It was an excellent course.
     
  13. opaline

    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
     
  14. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,602
    Female
    Dundee
    This is the link to the course. I don't think it is recruiting just now but there's a link where you can express interest.

    http://www.utas.edu.au/wicking/wca/mooc
     
  15. Padraig

    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.
     
  16. opaline

    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
     
  17. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    237
    #17 JigJog, Mar 7, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
    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. :)
     
  18. Roses40

    Roses40 Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    473
    manchester
    Thank you Izzy. I have expressed an interest too x
     

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