The Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

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minmark
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Date Joined Mar 2007
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   Posted 7/7/2007 12:15 AM (GMT -6)   
The early stage, the person seems to be confused and forgetful. She may lose some important items, forget recent conversation. Usually the person may not even notice that there is a problem.
 
The middle stage is the most difficult and most complicated. The person may not know family members, forget how to do simple task, maybe lost even in a familiar places, not only this, there are times that they are agitated, restless, moody and unpredictable. This is a major problem of the caregiver. How to handle the residents in this stage. How to calm them. Medications  will make them quiet but we don't like them to be zombies.
 
This is the stage that the caregiver must be creative  and intelligent enough to divert their restlessness to a productive one. You must have the proper approach in dealing with them.
Try to walk with them, offer them something...to eat or to do...Have patience. If they don't want to eat or they don't want to take their medicines, don't force them. Approach them later, proper timing is important. Play the music...this is relaxing and mood stabilizer. Keep them busy with different activities and this will result to a good sleep.
 
The end stage is a complete lost of memory, judgment and reason. They need complete assistance in their daily living. They forget to talk and to walk This is hertbreaking situations as if there's no more life. The role of a caregiver doesn't stop here. He must give his best to the person to make him feel that life is beautiful. Still they must be treated with respect and dignity.

Howlyncat
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   Posted 7/7/2007 5:33 AM (GMT -6)   
FANTASTIC.........
Great thread and great input I will let you carry on with this one as I am sure there is more to add I totally agree with you in all aspects
 
Thanks for being here and part of the family
 
Luvsn God Bless
LYN
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Howlyncat
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   Posted 7/7/2007 5:36 AM (GMT -6)   
In Mom's end stages she and I would still go out her in a w/c and walk about town all the while talking to her and letting her smell flowers it was her greatest joy ...nature and gardening besides Nursing

YES
Always the dignity and Respect for even though they may seem way out there or not there at all they still feel and can get vibes from ppl just as children do

Thanks for this thread hun

Luvs
LYN
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replystreet
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Date Joined Jun 2007
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   Posted 7/7/2007 8:24 PM (GMT -6)   
That's a scary thing. This is a great thread for people who may think they have it or know someone that could have it.
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minmark
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Date Joined Mar 2007
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   Posted 7/8/2007 1:56 AM (GMT -6)   
First sign and symptoms of Alzheimer's
 
at first there is no symptoms when brain cells are being d estroyed by AD. LAter on, small memory lapses appear and become serious..They may forget the names of familiar people or places, forget the location of things for everyday use, forget the words to express what they want to say.
 
Is the afflicted individual aware of their signs and symptoms?
 
They are in denial in the  early stage, keep on blaming others, frustrations, agitation, rage, with no apparent recogniton that they  were once   a different person.

minmark
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 182
   Posted 7/8/2007 2:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Personality changes

changes in personality and behaviors begin to appear. They become suspicioua, restless and agitated. Some of them becomes combative. Some are hitting caregivers, and become aggressive. . The apathy and lack of engagement begins here.

This is very sad to the family.. It;s painful to see your loved one declining./they are restless, wandering and apathetic and widtrawn. They hear see, or smell or t aste sometihng that a re not present. This is the longest stage. They need more understanding, love , compassion and patience in this s tage.

Howlyncat
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   Posted 7/8/2007 4:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Losing days and objects they have had put away
Turning on and off the stove ( reason knobs are off my dads)

Wandering .........( sundowning)

Dad is never aggressive but does have some severe mood swings like he is calm one moment and then the slightest noise will set him off

The doc Mom had was giving her ATIVAN on the side that I never knew about or it would not have been going on
It is one of the worst meds for AD ppl.....

**Doing a great job MM**

Luvs n God Bless
LYN


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 Your Mind is like a Parachute...Works better when IT IS Open
 
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Howlyncat
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   Posted 7/8/2007 4:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Replystreet

You have NO vested interest in the number or drug co you are posting do you ??

I wouldnt think so BUT I have to ask dont get thinking I am upset lol its just a question hun that has to be asked

LYN
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 Your Mind is like a Parachute...Works better when IT IS Open
 
 Be Thankful for the Difficult times..During those times we GROW
 
             EMPATHY is Always Better than APATHY
 
 Walk With Us We Will Take your Hand .......
 
  
                                  


minmark
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 182
   Posted 7/15/2007 9:30 PM (GMT -6)   
SYMPTOMS OF MIDDLE STAGE OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

* Significant decline in memory.
They still know their name but forget their history. they can't follow instruction and think logically. They can no longer track their own belonging. They have difficulty in recognizing faces and names. They are disconneted to reality, disoriented to the days o f the week, month and year.

* Problems in communication
They can read, but can not respond correctly. The problem in talking and understanding begin. They go back to their first language, and keep on repeating stories and words.

* Significant changes in behavior.
They might have exaggeration of their normal behavior. they are apathetic, anxious, suspicious, delusional and widtrawn.

* Idiosyncratic behavior
No longer safe to be alone. They might faall, poison or burn self, or lost. Change in their normal sleep and wake cycle. Sleeping during day time, awake at night. Wandering and talkking to oneself. Needs help in personal and oral hygiene. needs assistance in shower, dressing and using the toilet.

* Urinary and fecal incontinence
Incontinence increase overtime. Uncomfortable in a chair or toilet. Muscle twitches.

I hope this will help.

Howlyncat
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   Posted 7/16/2007 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
This info is very helpful and I DO appreciate all your hard work and your dedication to this forum

Luvs
LYN
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 Your Mind is like a Parachute...Works better when IT IS Open
 
 Be Thankful for the Difficult times..During those times we GROW
 
             EMPATHY is Always Better than APATHY
 
 Walk With Us We Will Take your Hand .......
 
  
                                  


minmark
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 182
   Posted 7/17/2007 8:50 PM (GMT -6)   

                   SYMPTOMS OF LATE STAGE ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

* They can no longer recognize  familiar faces, even their family members

*  They can't smile anymore

*  Can't comprehend and write

*  They have muscle rigidity

* Cannot walk, stand and sit up

*  Complete urinary aand bowel incontinence

*  Difficulty in swallowing, may choke in food and big pills
*  Can't move voluntarily and stop wandering
*  Loses weight
*  Skin becomes very thin
*  May refuse to eat or drink
*  Sleeps more, exhausted and tired
*  Frequent infection
*  Shut down in sensory organ, the organs might be functioning correctly but the brain  can not interpret the input.
*  Cries out when touched or moved.
 
The late stage of AD is the complete deterioration of the personality. The dying of cells in all  part of the brain leads to lack of functioning in all systems of the body. The wild behavior disappear instead they become quiet. They need total care and assistance in the end stage.
 
It's sad and very painful to see  your loved one deteriorating and it breaks my heart when I see them in this stage. We have a resident, a 59 year old lady, a former Boeing employee, a smart and intelligent woman who lost everything due to AD. A lot of stories had been said, how AD conquers their lives so I would like to remind you...KEEP YOUR BRAIN STIMULATED. 

Howlyncat
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   Posted 7/18/2007 4:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I find it also breaks my heart to see them go from professional self caring self assured ppl to ppl with AD and especially the last stages do get to be the hardet INHO

Thanks again for the great input ......very true and to the point

LYN
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 Your Mind is like a Parachute...Works better when IT IS Open
 
 Be Thankful for the Difficult times..During those times we GROW
 
             EMPATHY is Always Better than APATHY
 
 Walk With Us We Will Take your Hand .......
 
  
                                  


minmark
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 182
   Posted 7/20/2007 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   

             CARING FOR A PERSON IN THE END STAGE OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

Alzheimer's is inevitably terminal. You can delay the  progression of the disease but there is no cure. Since AD robs the intellectual capacity to make their own decision, it is important  to talk about their choices in the early stage of the disease and prapare a legally binding advance directive.

Alzheimer's in the end stage are bedridden and need help with every aspect of daily living. The  severity of the disease  leads to different dementia-related medical complications such as :

             * Aspiration pneummonia

             * Upper urinary tract infection

             * Sepsis or other infections

             * Bed sores

             * Weight loss

Hospice care is usually considered in this stage. Hospice care focuses completely on pain management and comfort care. However, it is difficult to predict how long a person with end stage Alzheimer's will live.  Usually it is reserved with people who have less than six months to live.

                                   SHOW YOUR LOVE TO THEM

Although they can't recognized you or could not communicate anymore, there are many ways to feel your love.  Alzheimer's in final stage experience their connection to the world through their senses.

          * Touch ---Hold their hands, brush his/her hair, massage their back, hands, feet.

           * Hearing---play theiir favorite music, read to them, although they don't understand the words the rhythm can be soothing too them.

            * Smell ---They enjoy the smell of fresh flower, food and perfume.

            * Sight---Show them the beauty of nature, the animals, plants, birds, trees, life is beautiful.

This is the most difficult journey anyone can take.And the most profound decision is ensuring that the Alzheimer's most basic need for respect, dignity and physical comfort are sustained until the end of life.


Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 7/21/2007 7:02 AM (GMT -6)   
All fantastic input
Thanks MM
Most appreciated
havent been well and with another IV for 10 days right in wrist finding it hard to keep up with all around here ( home)
Took 9 tries for the IV yesterday ..........just about took it and did myself
lol

Thanks again

LYN
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 Your Mind is like a Parachute...Works better when IT IS Open
 
 Be Thankful for the Difficult times..During those times we GROW
 
             EMPATHY is Always Better than APATHY
 
 Walk With Us We Will Take your Hand .......
 
  
                                  


minmark
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 182
   Posted 7/25/2007 8:56 AM (GMT -6)   
I hope you're recovering now Lyn. I wish you the best and God Bless You for such a good person.
 
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with AD, you may be wondering what to expect with the disease as it take its course. People vary in the length of time in each stage and which symptoms appaear. Sometimes the symptoms overlap so it's difficult to place a person in a particular stage. The stages identify the groups of symptoms that reflect more brain decay. The Alzheimer's death is caused by inability of the brain to keep the body going, or by another disease or injury along the way.
 
                   PREVENTION OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
 
At this time, there is no known prevention to AD. Researchers had  developed a vaccine that stop the deposits of beta-amyloid in the brain but some people who participated in the clinical trial had experienced  serious inflammation of the brain. Although the results were disappointing, researchers don't stop to look for ways to reduce the risk of this disease.
 
Meanwhile research suggests that adults who are more physically active may nto develop AD or dementia as early as adults who are not physically active.
 
There is limited evidence that older adults who stay mentally active may be at lower risk for AD. Regularly reading of newspapers, magazines, books, playing cards, crossword puzzles, going to art gallery, listening to the radio may help you not to have AD. Although this approach has not been proved, there is no harm in putting your brain at work.
 
As we learn more about the possible cause of the disease. we also learn more how to prevent this disease. Research into a vaccine for AD is ongoing.

Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
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   Posted 7/25/2007 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   
THanks for another great post hun
Appreciate it muchly

LYN
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 Be Thankful for the Difficult times..During those times we GROW
 
             EMPATHY is Always Better than APATHY
 
 Walk With Us We Will Take your Hand .......
 
  
                                  


minmark
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 182
   Posted 8/2/2007 12:04 AM (GMT -6)   
OTHER CONDITIONS SIMILAR TO ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
Central nervous system condition --- Parkinsons's Disease, Huntingtons's Disease,head injury, brain tumor, stroke
Systemic condition-----poor nutrition, dehydration, lack of sleep, high fever, infection, poisoning, hormone imbalance, vtamin deficiencies
Subtance-Induced condition-----side-effect of medications, drug interactions, alcoholism or drug abuse
Psychologicalstress and psychosis---emotional trauma or stress, clinical depression, schizophrenia or delirium

Many of this conditions are reversible if treated early so it's important to seek medical evaluation if you are concerned about dementia like symptoms.
Certain emotions might result in dementia-like syndrome--boredom,extreme sadness, loneliness, anxiety, and stress. This condition manifest themselvesi n forgetfulness, memory loss and confusion.

dragonfly137927
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   Posted 8/2/2007 5:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for this post it does help to know the different signs of the stages. I guess from reading this and seeing my grandmother she has started the middle stage. She has not forgotten people as of yet even those more recently introduced too (nurses at the hospital etc). On average how long does the middle stage last? how long for the end stage? She has been asking for something to kill herself while in the hospital. I hope so much that the doctors can get her off the adivan which she has been on since the early 90's. Her GP actually increased her dose a few weeks back before this took a sudden change for the worse. I informed my mother about adivan and AD she brought it up at the alzheimers clinic they had an appt with a few weeks back. He suggested a Psych consult to get her off some meds. That appt didnt come due to her getting admitted into the hospital 5 days prior to her appt. I know they were able to take her off of Paxil so far and unsure if they plan on taking the adivan away.
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minmark
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 182
   Posted 8/2/2007 8:21 AM (GMT -6)   

Every stage varies to  different Alzheimer's. It depends how f ast the disease progresses. There are certain factors to consider, the support of the family, the medications and kind of care they are getting. Usually, the middle stage is the longest  stage, and the hardest one.  The significant changes in behavior and personality occur in this stage. Ativan or Lorazepam is usually prescribed to calm them down when they are agitated, but this is on as needed basis(PRN). Family support is important, they need love, care and understanding. This help a lot.

 

 


SnowyLynne
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Date Joined Apr 2004
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   Posted 8/2/2007 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   
My Neuro.won't use stages as a person can be in several stages at the same time.
SnowyLynne


minmark
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 182
   Posted 8/2/2007 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   

You're definitely right SnowyLynne, a person can be in several stages at the same time. Stages are only given to serve as a guidance or to have thorough knowledge to the changes and progression of the disease. Staging system provide useful frames of reference for understanding how the disease may unfold and for making future plans. Not everyone will experience the same system or progress at the same time. Every person is unique. 


Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 8/3/2007 5:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes I totally agree they can be in more than one stage at a time
Thanks for all the input and glad to see you reading dragonfly
All the best to your grandma and you

LYN

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 Walk With Us We Will Take your Hand .......
 
  
                                  

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