Stages of Alzheimer's
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease which means that things will keep getting worse over time. Folks with Early-Stage Alzheimer’s are usually still driving their cars, getting together with friends, or even working at their jobs. But as the disease progresses to Middle-Stage, simple everyday things like chatting, dressing, and bathing become more and more difficult and frustrating. Sadly Middle-Stage will progress to Late-Stage where full-time 24 hour care is needed to help with the basics of life like eating, moving around, and going to the toilet.
All caregivers need to plan for the future, but Alzheimer’s caregivers have to get their ducks in a row quickly to be ready for the Late Stage of the disease when an enormous amount of care is needed. And it’s especially important to get on top of Wills, Financial Powers of Attorney, and Advance Directives while your mom is still legally able to sign them. Since all Alzheimer’s patients will eventually lose their ability to make legal decisions, these should be among the first things you tackle.
But, in our experience, the most important thing is for you to is to pull together your Care Team because it is impossible for one person to care for an Alzheimer’s patient by themselves. Even if things are working today, they will not work tomorrow, so you have to plan ahead. Although one or two family members usually end up taking on most of the caregiving, everyone can and should help, especially to give the main caregivers a regular break from time to time. Start by making sure everyone in your family understands the basic facts about Alzheimer’s, and that even though mom may have some good days and some bad days, she is only going to get worse. Invite them into the Kinto App so everyone is in the loop on what is going on, and you can all learn together. Most of all, connect with other Alzheimer’s caregivers here on Kinto, within your local community, and through the national Alzheimer’s organizations.