Alzheimer's Care in St. Joseph, MI
Skilled Alzheimer's care for seniors in the St. Joseph area
Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia that currently affects millions of seniors in the United States, as well as the nearly 15 million family members who care for them. According to the National Institute of Health, Alzheimer's disease is an illness of the brain that leads to the death of large numbers of nerve cells in the brain, thus taking away the abilities associated with those lost brain cells. A person with Alzheimer's disease may have trouble remembering information, concentrating, taking care of themselves, or even recalling who or where they are. Most individual's with Alzheimer's will require at least some degree of professional Alzheimer's care at some point in the disease's progression.
Alzheimer's disease does not just occur overnight. Instead, the disease progresses in stages. There are different rating scales used when talking about people with this form of dementia, but most of them boil down to three main periods of time: early-stage, mid-stage and late-stage (moderate and severe often replace the terms mid and late).
Alzheimer's Care in St. Joseph, MI
While individuals with early-stage Alzheimer's can typically provide most of their own care, it is one of the most important times for Alzheimer's care. Most caregivers do not fully understand how the disease progresses, what to expect, what forms and documents to prepare and have in order to ensure proper care and services are received, and so forth. Much of this information can be obtained through books and on the Internet, but when time is critical, somebody who knows the disease, its progression, the ins and outs of care, and brings all of this knowledge forth with kindness and compassion is worth their weight in gold. After all, Alzheimer's is going to rob your loved one of their mind. While they may still have physical time on the earth, much of it may be spent without their mental faculties. It is important for families to maximize the time they have with their senior loved one while they are still at their best and brightest.
During mid-stage Alzheimer's, seniors start to have trouble with daily tasks and require support from family members or professional Alzheimer's care personnel. During this stage, seniors may appear perfectly lucid and the next moment not know where they are or what they are doing. This can place seniors in scary situations. Seniors may also find themselves locked out of their home, locked in a room inside of the home, forgetting how to operate the car, forgetting their personal hygiene, forgetting their medications, and so forth. Alzheimer's care at this stage needs to include elements of most daily living tasks and personal care. Toward the end of the mid-stage, wandering is often regular. Seniors should not be left alone once this starts.
By the late stages of Alzheimer's disease, a senior will drift in and out of lucidity. They may appear angry, threatening, paranoid, or even violent. Associated delirium often leads to moaning, wailing, and hallucinations. The physical body often breaks down during this stage making walking or evening sitting impossible. Many times seniors will also need help eating or swallowing; they may also refuse to eat or drink.
As seniors with Alzheimer's progress through the stages, it is important to remember that the changes reflect the disease and not the person. Many family caregivers do very well through the first couple of stages but turn to Alzheimer's care specialists when the symptoms become severe. It is simply too hard to face the physical and emotional demands on their own.
Whether support is sought right away or toward the disease's end, know that Comfort Keepers Alzheimer's care specialists are there for you when and where you need them
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If you would like to learn more about our Alzheimer's care, contact us today at 269-556-9999. One of our senior care advisors would be happy to answer any of your questions or to schedule your free in-home care consultation.
Comfort Keepers of St. Joseph, MI is proud to provide services to the following locations throughout Berrien County, Cass County & Van Buren County:
Bangor, Baroda, Benton Harbor, Berrien Center, Berrien Springs, Bloomingdale, Bridgman, Buchanan, Cassopolis, Coloma, Covert, Decatur, Dowagiac, Eau Claire, Galien, Gobles, Hartford, Lakeside, Lawrence, Lawton, Marcellus, Mattawan, New Buffalo, Niles, Paw Paw, Sawyer, Sodus, South Haven, St. Joseph, Stevensville, Three Oaks, Union Pier, and Watervliet