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How Dementia Progresses

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Dementia is a progressive condition that leads to issues with memory, communication, comprehension, and reasoning for older adults. Although there’s no cure, there are healthy lifestyle choices the elderly can make to slow dementia’s progression. Learn how quickly dementia can progress and what can be done to slow it down.

Progression Factors

The effects and progression rate of dementia vary from person to person. Some factors can cause the condition to worsen, such as age, genetics, diabetes, heart disease, and other health complications. Managing dementia can alleviate many of its symptoms and increase longevity. 

Other factors that affect the progression rate of dementia include: 

• Infections 

• Strokes 

• Hypertension 

• Chronic stress

Types of Dementia

Depending on the type of dementia, symptoms can occur quickly or take months or years to develop. For example, Alzheimer’s is a specific type of dementia, and it typically progresses at the slowest rate. Alzheimer’s disease could take four to eight years to advance, and some seniors who maintain a healthy lifestyle can live 20 years after being diagnosed. However, other types of dementia, such as vascular dementia and rapid-onset dementia, progress at a faster rate. Seniors who have vascular dementia typically live up to five years after their first symptoms are detected. Rapid-onset dementia could have a life expectancy rate of four to 18 months, due to the rapidly progressive nature of this type of dementia. 

The cognitive challenges that accompany dementia often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Cleveland, OH, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Stages of Dementia

There’s no exact timeline for the progression of dementia. However, certain stages let your family know how quickly dementia could unfold. Keep in mind your aging loved one’s current health will determine what stage he or she is in and how rapidly he or she progresses to the next stage. 

Stage One – Seniors generally don’t display any noticeable signs of impairment 

Stage Two – Signs of cognitive decline, such as slight memory loss, will become noticeable

Stage Three – Aging adults may experience difficulty with focusing, organizing, and working, typically years before the onset of dementia

Stage Four – During this stage, the moderate signs of cognitive decline last for approximately two years and affect the ability to remember details, solve problems, and maintain a social life

Stage Five – The effects of cognitive decline require seniors to receive assistance with daily living

Stage Six – Severe cognitive decline leads to personality changes, incontinence, and difficulty speaking, and seniors may require complete assistance with daily living 

Stage Seven – In this most severe stage of dementia, elderly people lose their ability to walk and communicate

Symptoms such as wandering, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Cleveland seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Tips to Boost Cognitive Health

There’s no cure for dementia, but there are ways for seniors to reduce their risk of developing this condition or slow its progression. Seniors should follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, socialize, manage stress, and avoid head injuries. They should also participate in mental activities that boost their cognitive health and slow down the aging process.

Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Cleveland at-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (440) 332-0170 today.

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