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Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes a degradation and eventually death of the brain cells. People with Alzheimer's disease suffer from a memory loss. There is also a progressive decline in the cognitive capacity of the brain.Today, Alzheimer's disease and dementia have become almost synonymous with old age. It is a heartbreaking experience to see aged people with Alzheimer's disease. They have little or no memory of the present time, of their loved people or the things around them.
The Alzheimer's disease starts off as a mild condition and then gradually progresses through stages. In this article, we will discuss the different stages associated with Alzheimer's disease.
- The first stage: This stage shows no significant changes in the affected person. Thus, without any diagnostic tests (such as a PET scan), it will be difficult to detect the condition in the initial stage.
- The second stage: This stage brings about some changes in the person. The person might misplace things or may even forget words (something that is often brushed aside as a small problem). However, this seldom interferes with their daily activities. Like the first stage, this stage, in most cases, goes unnoticed.
- The third stage: This is the stage that brings about visible changes in the person concerned such as
- The person experiences difficulties in trying to organize things.
- They forget things they have read, or heard just a few seconds back.
- In some cases, the person may not be able to recollect a person's name they have just met.
- Some people may end up repeating the same question over and over again.
- The fourth stage: This stage marks a further decline in the mental health. The person gets forgetful about himself or herself. They also start mixing up with the dates and months or makes major goof up while cooking (misses out on ingredients).
- The fifth stage: The mental deterioration reaches a step further. The person slowly starts forgetting about the present, such as their address, the time of the day, their profession and even phone numbers.
- The sixth stage: The problem is getting worse. Hallucination is slowly setting in. The person is starting to forget people and their faces, mixing one identity with another.
- The seventh stage: The final and unfortunately, the worst stage. The person stops talking to people, eating, or even walking. They stay confined to their world, oblivious of their immediate surrounding.
Dealing with an Alzheimer patient
- In addition to the treatment and medication, a person with Alzheimer's disease needs the love, care, and support of their close and dear ones. Isolating them will only worsen the situation.
- It may not be easy to deal with an Alzheimer's patient as the disease progresses, but do not be rude to them. Give them the confidence.
- Always keep a paper containing their name, address and emergency contact number in their wallet.
- People after the age of 50 should undergo regular health check ups.