When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it is not
always easy to know what comes next. By understanding how the disease
progresses and what to expect at each stage, you can make important decisions
about specialized home care now, before the need arises. Alzheimer’s
is a progressive disease, so your loved one’s needs for
personal care will increase over time. The speed with which symptoms progress varies
from person to person, but most people with Alzheimer’s go through
In the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, no changes may be
apparent at all. Subtle changes may begin to occur, but because they are
mild and don’t interfere with daily activities, these changes may
not be attributed to Alzheimer’s. The first signs of mild cognitive
decline include forgetting something after just reading it and struggling
to remember names. Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s usually occurs at this
time. Your loved one may only need occasional help with personal care
at this point.
Noticeable Memory Loss
At this time, Alzheimer’s symptoms become more pronounced. Your loved
one may have difficulty with basic daily activities, such as cooking and
cleaning, and will need home care. He or she may also struggle to remember
personal information and be unable to determine what is appropriate to
wear for the season. It will become more important for your loved one
to have constant supervision so that he or she feels comfortable and is safe.
Pronounced Cognitive Changes
The final stages of Alzheimer’s are marked by significant cognitive
decline, including delusions. Your loved one may no longer be able to
eat or use the bathroom without assistance. He or she will eventually
need assistance sitting up and walking and will only be able to eat soft
foods. Around-the-clock care is required at this point in the disease.
Home Helpers is here to assist you in making important decisions about Alzheimer’s
care for your loved one. We offer a variety of specialized home care programs
in Philadelphia to meet your loved ones needs, including our Total Care
program and the Flexi-Rest program that allows family caregivers to get
a break. For additional information, please call (215) 334-2600.