As Alzheimer’s Disease progresses questions about long term care will need to be answered. Who will handle various aspects of day-to-day life, finances and medical needs of the patient?
• Natural Progression of AD Time (years)
It is the arrival of moderate dementia and the further progression to severe dementia where there is a loss of personal hygiene, control of bodily functions and a severe impairment in recognizing loved ones that we hope to avoid with early diagnosis and treatment.
Dealing with the Disease Long Term
Progressive cognitive decline does not occur in isolation. Family members and loved ones live through this as much as people who have the cognitive loss.
In the moderate stages of dementia, we often find that caregivers have to be supported by a combination of factors including family for respite, day programs and potentially hired caregivers who are in part time or who may be living in. We find that planning for this is much less stressful than reacting at the time of crisis.
Learn more about Caregiving
Support for caregivers is critical but is often overlooked within family. We find that other family members need to learn about what dementia means and that the big challenge is not simply memory loss but is the loss of personal independence and the emergence of behavior problems like agitation or paranoia.
Caregiver burnout happens when behaviour problems become too much to deal with or when personal care needs such as bathing, changing into clean clothes or dealing with basic needs like hygiene in the bathroom cannot be met.