Understanding the Three Stages of Dementia
Nobody is a born expert on the illnesses and symptoms associated with dementia, and its course can vary significantly for each individual. There are three main stages, and understanding the progression can help you communicate better and make more informed care decisions.
What is dementia? Dementia progressively destroys your parent’s ability to use and rely on basic skills and functions we take for granted – such as memory, orientation to time and place, telling right from wrong and safe from harmful, and problem solving. Your parent will lose the instincts and memories that are needed for driving, self-medicating, eating, writing, reading, cooking, interacting socially, cleaning, playing sports, grooming, and making financial or legal transactions. The list is endless. The loss is all encompassing.
In the early stages, it can be hard to know what is going on. To help you understand, you will find an explanation and a checklist of symptoms for each stage. Look at all three and check all that apply to your parent. Taking this list to your physician will help identify the lifestyle or medication changes that can improve your family’s quality of life.