Although Alzheimer’s affects people in different ways, there are three general stages to recognize: early, middle, and late.
Executive Director of Alzheimer's Association - Arkansas Chapter Kirsten Dickins joins Theba Lolley for a conversation about how this disease progresses over time.
Theba Lolley is a caregiver for her mom and she stepped in early on and was given the diagnosis of cognitive memory impairment.
"I started seeing some concerning signs of memory and behavior changes and I went into a panic," says Theba. "That is when I began the process of really researching what happens after cognitive memory impairment."
"Your experience is definitely unique in that you jumped on it early," says Kirsten. "Unfortunately we know a lot of people don’t recognize signs and symptoms until maybe the disease has already progressed."
Alzheimer’s disease typically progresses slowly in three general stages: early, middle, and late. Those can also be referred to as mild, moderate, and severe when talking in a medical context.
“It’s important to remember that since Alzheimer’s affects people in different ways, each person may experience symptoms or progress through the stages differently, says Kirsten.
It may be difficult to place your loved one in a specific stage at any one time because the stages overlap, but there may be some consistencies with one stage when it comes to a certain behavior.
"During the early stage for this disease it is still possible for people with dementia to live well by taking control of their health and wellness and focusing energy on aspects of their life that are most meaningful to them," says Kirsten." I love hearing about some of those pieces that you have put in place with your mom because you can really tell that it has made a difference in easing into that transition."
Alzheimer's Association is available 24/7 to help you along your journey. Their helpline number is 1-800-272-3900 and resources are available on their website.