It’s important to be proactive in finding the right Alzheimer’s care option as your loved one’s condition progresses
When your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you may not be thinking of how to prepare for mid and late-stage Alzheimer’s. The initial diagnosis may be stressful enough and you may be more concerned about their immediate needs than what lies ahead.
However, being proactive about the Alzheimer’s care your loved one will eventually need is essential in making sure they stay safe and comfortable despite their diagnosis. In addition, planning ahead can make it easier to cope with the diagnosis and improve your loved one’s quality of life – and yours, as well.
What You Should Expect from Mid and Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, your loved one may not need additional care right away. Lasting for 1-2 years, early-stage Alzheimer’s is marked by occasional memory loss. At most, your loved one may need help with day-to-day tasks, but can otherwise function on their own.
However, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, so the mid and late stages will take a greater toll on your loved one’s health.
In mid-stage Alzheimer’s, your loved one’s memory and cognitive functions will significantly decrease. This stage lasts from 2-4 years and commonly includes the following symptoms:
- Severe memory lapses
- Difficulty communicating
- Trouble remembering the current time and place
- Decreased hand-eye coordination
- Inability to recognize or remember the names of loved ones
- Needing assistance with personal activities like dressing and bathing
If your loved one has mid-stage Alzheimer’s, they can still continue to live at home without major complications. However, at this point, they will need assistance from a family member or professional senior care provider.
Late-stage Alzheimer’s disease lasts from 1-2 years and is marked by complete loss of language abilities and short and long-term memory functions. They will eventually lose physical abilities like walking, sitting, and swallowing and can be highly vulnerable to infections.
At this stage, your loved one will be entirely dependent on a caregiver. Living at home will become a greater challenge, requiring a full-time care staff to meet their needs. If your loved one has reached this stage, you may want to consider relocating to a memory care centre so your loved one can receive around-the-clock care.
Preparing for Alzheimer’s Care Options in the Later Stages
Planning for mid and late-stage Alzheimer’s can take some time. The process will involve learning tons of new information while making sure your loved one receives the care they currently need. In order to find the best solution, it’s best to approach planning in a piece-by-piece approach.
- Learn what to expect for your loved one. Take this time to learn more about mid and late-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Find out what behavioral changes you can expect, what changes might trigger a change in behavior for your loved one, what level of care your loved one needs, and how you can help your loved one stay safe and comfortable.
- Learn what to expect from yourself. Alzheimer’s takes a toll on family members as well as seniors. You will have to ask yourself some difficult questions, including what difficulties you expect to face while providing care, how it will impact your well-being, and what resources you can use in order to make providing care less stressful.
- Keep track of your finances. Care for seniors with Alzheimer’s isn’t cheap, especially as the disease progresses. At first, you may choose to take time off from work to provide care for your loved one. As the disease progresses, you may want to consider hiring a professional home care agency like Senior Homecare by Angels or look into residential care.
- Learn more about Alzheimer’s care strategies. Educating yourself on current caregiving strategies can make it easier to provide care your loved one.
- Develop a support network. In order to avoid feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally drained, consider building a support network of friends, family, caregivers, and Alzheimer’s care experts.
- Research Alzheimer’s care options. As your loved one’s condition progresses, it will become more difficult for you to provide the care they need. There are quite a few options for seniors with mid and late-stage Alzheimer’s, including retirement residences, memory care centres, and professional in-home care. Make sure to find a local option that works best for your loved one.
Senior Homecare by Angels can provide the Alzheimer’s care your loved one needs, whether they’re still in the early stages or their condition has progressed. With personalized care plans and compassionate caregivers, we can make sure your loved one remains secure and comfortable in their own home.