Anyone who’s cared for a loved one with dementia knows that the journey is similar to a winding, uphill trek into an unexplored forest. It’s hard to predict exactly where you’ll end up next; and once you’ve become familiar with one area, the terrain shifts into new unknowns.
Although each person’s experience with dementia is unique, there are some predictable stages through which he or she will likely progress. WebMD describes these stages as:
- Mild Dementia: In this stage, memory begins to lapse, and a struggle to recall once familiar people, places and words becomes evident. Feelings in this stage can include anxiety, sadness, and disinterest in formerly enjoyed activities, and can result in major depression.
- Moderate Dementia: Poor judgment, reduced physical function and issues with sensory processing emerge in the moderate dementia stage. Because of such symptoms as displaying inappropriate language, wandering, and lack of attention to personal hygiene, this is an especially challenging stage for caregivers. During the transition into this stage, it’s a good idea to maximize safety with home modifications, and to look into palliative care to provide support and assistance with managing difficult behaviors.
- Severe Dementia: With symptoms such as extensive memory loss, issues with swallowing, bladder and bowel control, and loss of mobility, 24-hour, around-the-clock-care may be necessary.
Caring for a loved one through these stages of dementia can be incredibly stressful and exhausting, both physically and emotionally. It’s crucial for a strategy of support to be implemented, including periods of respite care to allow family caregivers the chance to renew their strength and stamina.
Nightingale Homecare provides professional Phoenix dementia care through a specialized dementia program, Connections. With our entire team – caregivers, nurses, therapists, social workers, and managers – trained in Dr. Verna Benner Carson’s Alzheimer’s Whispers® approach, we offer a unique level of expertise in the field of dementia care. Our process involves:
- Testing/evaluation by an RN
- Development of client-specific strategies to address particular needs
- Training for family or others providing care
- Necessary physical, occupational or speech therapy, and/or social worker services arranged
- Either intermittent or continuous care provided by Nightingale’s fully trained caregivers as needed
With Nightingale Homecare, you’re never alone on your journey through your loved one’s dementia. We’ve been walking alongside families since 1994, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing a full range of home care services, from personal care, companionship, meal preparation and light housekeeping to complex medical treatments like infusions, ventilator/respiratory services, wound care, blood draws, and more. Call us any time at 602-504-1555 to learn more.