Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, Part 2

Sep 9th, 2016 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease

Senior Citizen Journal (SCJ) began a series of articles on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) with publication of information on Early Alzheimer’s Disease (Mild Cognitive Impairment) on September 1, 2016. Today we are looking at Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease, the second stage of progression of AD. As always, SCJ is committed to providing factual and documented data/information for its readers. And in the interests of full disclosure, this writer has a family member diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and who is being treated at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, AZ.

Banner’s BAI (Banner Alzheimer’s Institute) Beacon recently offered this explanation of Moderate Stage AD:

“People with moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD)/dementia need reminders and/or added assistance for daily self-care tasks such as grooming, bathing and dressing. Confusion and memory worsen making the person much more dependent on the caregiver.” (BAI Beacon, August 2016, Volume 9, Number 8)

Symptoms of Moderate Stage AD

Victims of AD need more structure in the Moderate stage. The generally experience sleeplessness, wandering, late-day confusion and agitation which are all part of the same problem. BAI Beacon states, “The damaged brain has to work much harder to understand the environment and be able to function.” (Ibid)  People with AD tend to lose their sense of smell and need food that is well or highly seasoned; their eating is disrupted and the challenge for the caregiver is to find and prepare food that is appealing to their care receiver.

Persons in the Moderate stage of AD may resist bathing and need help to dress. They struggle to find words to express what they want to say. They begin to experience illusions and delusions. BAI Beacon says this about perceptual changes:

“As time passes the perceptual losses lead to mistaken identification of objects and people. This can result in non-recognition of family and friends, fixed false beliefs (delusions), and seeing things (illusions) usually triggered by television, mirrors, objects, and family pictures.” (Ibid)

Challenges for Caregivers

Caregivers need to be aware of both the symptoms of Moderate stage AD as well as the suggestions for addressing changing behaviors. There are a number of very good sites available on the Internet that provide suggestions for caregivers. The BAI article cited here provides recommendations for Caregivers, and SCJ has found their suggestions very helpful. Readers may find them here.

~Sharon Shaw Elrod, MSW, EdD
Senior Editor and CEO, Senior Citizen Journal


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