It can be challenging to watch your loved ones struggle as their body and mind decline with age, but what do you do if a diagnosis of Dementia occurs? Unfortunately, it happens to the best of us. We start to forget things as we age. Maybe we find ourselves walking from room to room looking for our phone or car keys. But at what point should forgetfulness become a concern, and when is it just considered a normal part of aging? As we age, it is customary to begin showing signs of senility which is defined as “relating to, exhibiting, or characteristic of old age.” Although senility and Dementia can often be lumped together, they are not the same. Being forgetful is part of aging, but Dementia is not.
Dementia isn’t a specific disease but a term used to describe a group of diseases or illnesses that affect the brain and get worse as time goes on. There are instances where Dementia like symptoms can be treated or reversed, so it is always important to talk to a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
The risk for Dementia increases over the age of 65 but can occur in younger people. Dementia is caused by the loss or damage to nerve cells in the brain and will cause different symptoms depending on the area of damage.
According to Dementia Care Central, there are seven stages of Dementia, with a patient typically being in stage 4 or beyond once a diagnosis has been made. The stages help track the progression of symptoms while also assisting physicians in determining the best treatments and aids in communicating with caregivers.
The seven stages are:
Stage 1: Normal Outward Behavior.
Stage 2: Very Mild Changes.
Stage 3: Mild Decline.
Stage 4: Moderate Decline.
Stage 5: Moderately Severe Decline.
Stage 6: Severe Decline.
Stage 7: Very Severe Decline.
Once a person starts to struggle with daily functions and activities and exhibits a decline in behavior, social abilities, reasoning, and memory, they could be in the early stages of Dementia. Not only do you worry about their wellbeing while they are alone, but it may be upsetting to your loved one that they need help. As their symptoms progress, this can only get worse. Wandering, anger, and aggression are common signs during the middle stages of Dementia. If you are responsible for being the primary caregiver of a family member who has been diagnosed with Dementia, the physical and emotional stress can become overwhelming.
Professional home care services can help by offering various services while keeping your loved one in their own home. Respite care is one example that provides relief for primary caregivers. Home care provides one-on-one care and can help your loved one maintain a daily routine, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. In addition, if your loved one is a wartime Veteran, spouse, or surviving spouse of a Veteran, they may be eligible for the VA Pension with Aid and Attendance to help pay for home care services.
Veterans Care Coordination strives to help as many Veterans and surviving spouses as possible gain access to the home care they need to continue living the high-quality life they deserve.
Our partner providers join Veterans Care Coordination in the mission to improve the quality of life for Veterans and their families. We partner with quality home care providers to help navigate the VA’s application process for pension funds, maximize the VA pension funds, get care started as quickly as possible, and assist in managing the benefit for as long as needed.