Experts dealing with dementia categorize the different stages of it from three to seven phases. Every step is divided according to the severity level and typical characteristics that are portrayed. There are three main classes, namely- mild (the early stage), moderate (the middle stage) and severe (the late stage). According to these three classes, the number of phases can be further divided into subclasses.
It does not matter how the phases are categorized, and all the stages give more or less the same necessary information. Different individuals have different capacities to absorb specific information and then retain it. This is the reason why sometimes you may find the explanation given by an expert is easier to understand than the other one. Teepa Snow gives very enlightening viewpoints on the breakdowns of dementia, and hold a very humorous approach while explaining it.
Here are the three standard models are given for dementia by researchers and experts all over the world: Stages and Progression
The Alzheimer’s Scale
It is the onset of the early stage. You may undergo difficulties but will not fail to perform independently.
This is the longest stage. It is the middle phase of the disease and can prolong for several years. As the disease progresses, you will start noticing changes in your personality, mental ability, and physical capacity. You may even require help for maintaining hygiene, safety and other daily care works.
This is the final or the last stage of the disease. You will face problems in communicating with people and will need extensive care for survival.
Teepa Snow’s GEM™ Model
The model is categorized under six classes with the use of gemstones. Each gemstone symbolizes a significant stage, majorly keeping a focus on rest of the abilities other than capacity losses.
“True blue, healthy brain, optimal cognition.”
“Routines and rituals rule, Clear and Sharp.”
“Green and move on with a purpose. Exhibiting fundamental flaws like an emerald.”
“You will be stuck in time. S0 be very careful.”
“Not everyone can think about what you can.”
“Many beautiful times to witness. Soothing and linking with it may help you to recognize with things you are acquainted with”
Global Deterioration Scale (GDS)
As a reference in a scale, you may find doctors marking the onset phase as no impairment in brain functioning.
You will notice a minute decline in the cognitive functions, associated with age and memory impairment. You might find it difficult to remember names or to place things in the right positions.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
You face problems associated with recalling early memories, showing mild degenerative cognitive function. Keeping track of things every day comes as a challenge here.
In this stage, you will start to experience little severe signs which are evident in clinical sessions. Dementia may start manifesting you in several ways like changes in concentration levels, memory, orientation, and recognition. Most of the times you will find yourself denying occurrences.
Here, you will need a higher level of assistance without which you will feel helpless. At this stage, you will mostly find individuals in memory care facilities in 24 hours of specialized care supervision.
In this condition, you start becoming unaware of whatever is happening in your surroundings. You will require constant assistance with ADLs.Experiencing emotional and personality changes are prominent. You will not be able to carry a certain for an extended period.
The final stage is hugely tragic. You start losing on your verbal skills, and the brain functioning becomes abrupt of not knowing what to do when.
Not all people are affected the same way by Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. You must immediately consult with a doctor if you have a near and dear one suffering from the same.
If you can provide care to those patients in need, it can be both challenging and rewarding for you. Your biggest challenge will be the amount of energy and time that you need to dedicate to take care of your dear one. Sometimes when you seek for a break, respite care can be given to the elderly. Whether you are making a short or a long pause, other caregivers can take care of your loved one during that time. Do not feel guilty of asking for a break.
Five Places for Respite Care
Home is always the preferred choice for keeping your loved one under care because of the comfort level one gets. Caregivers can opt for the day and night services for limited hours or even prolonged period.
Senior Living Communities
You can contact the nearest old-age center or local nursing home and check out whether they have available respite options. Such communities give a lot of stimulation through different social and daily actions.
Such centers which ensure a secure and sound atmosphere for the elderly while you are at work, or taking a break. But if you are planning on going for an extended vacation, senior living communities or home care will be a better option for. This is because daycares do not offer overnight service.
Family and Friends
Have you ever had a family member or a friend who has contributed to help you? If you are looking for a break like going to a store or run a quick errand, hesitate no more. You might ask that person who is willing to help you. Have them for dinner and share a few laughs. This will help you make your days better amidst all odds.
These are not very common. Still, there are like 750 programs approximately running in the U.S which aim at providing respite care through volunteer work for a short time.
Consult with Skylark Home Care to offer caregiving services to the elderly suffering from dementia. They are the best in the city for elderly home care and caters to critical medical requirement.