Caring for Your Loved One With Alzheimer's Disease or Related Dementias
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes a progressive loss of mental functioning. It affects a person’s ability to recall information, learn, reason and communicate. Because it is progressive, the disease will worsen over time. How quickly the disease progresses is different from person to person.
Currently, the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown, and no cure has been found. There are, however, medications and programs, including clinical trials, that may slow the progression of symptoms and maximize function. There is reason to hope.
This guide is for those who care for a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Additional help for caregivers is available from the Visiting Nurse Association and the Swank Memory Care Center at ChristianaCare. Special thanks to the Alzheimer’s Association, Wilmington Regional Office, for their assistance.
Stages of Alzheimer’s disease
Health care providers often use this scale, developed by Dr. Barry Reisberg and colleagues, to determine how the disease has progressed and what level of care is needed. The scale is also sometimes called the Functional Assessment Staging (FAST) Scale.
|2||Normal Older Adult||
|3||Early Alzheimer’s Disease||
|4||Mild Alzheimer’s Disease||
|5||Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease||
|6||Moderately Severe Alzheimer’s Disease||
|7||Severe Alzheimer’s Disease||