According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada , Alzheimer's disease is a brain disease characterized by progressive degeneration of brain cells. This disease is also considered as a set of diseases that are called "dementias".
The evolution of the disease
At first, the brain's performance is diminished, which explains why the memory losses are numerous enough to be noticed and measured, but without compromising the daily functions of an individual.
In such a case, several residences for Alzheimer's or residences for cognitive losses offer specialized services for people with loss of autonomy. If you need help to find them, do not hesitate to fill out an accommodation request form , a member of our team will be able to search the perfect retirement home according to your needs.
Since 40% of people over 65 experience some form of memory loss, early diagnosis is available to identify people who may be at risk and who need to consider a full assessment. Unfortunately, this disease is incurable and is bound to progress over time. It is possible to slow the progression of the disease by adopting a certain lifestyle or receiving specific treatments.
The evolution of Alzheimer's disease develops differently according to each person affected, as well as the symptoms, the order of appearance and the duration of each stage that can also overlap.
Consult your doctor
It is recommended to consult your doctor at the onset of symptoms such as:
- frequent memory loss;
- language problem;
- disorientation in time or space;
- a change in mood or behavior
The doctor can validate if this is due to a normal memory loss or rather to what is called the mild cognitive impairment that represents a risk of progression to Alzheimer's disease. The idea of living in residence is sometimes no better than having a diagnosis of a degenerative disease, so it is better to prepare for it earlier in the process, when you can take the time to only when there is an emergency situation.
Exercises to slow the evolution
In an attempt to slow down the disease, several risk factors have been identified to try to minimize them. Some factors such as age or family history are not controllable, but it is possible to adjust your lifestyle when talking about cardiovascular health, for example. This is the reason why doctors recommend to maintain a healthy lifestyle by performing regular physical exercise to reduce all risks related to vascular dementia. To allow residents to move and flourish, there are several exercise programs in homes for seniors including aqua fitness, swimming, bowling, petanque, etc.
In addition to physical exercise, there are also many memory exercises adapted for seniors. The goal is to prevent memory loss or to stabilize as long as possible the condition of the person with Alzheimer's disease. Also available in residences, these games allow residents to stimulate their reflexes, short-term memory, long-term memory, visual memory and all other types of memories.
The different stages of the evolution of Alzheimer's disease
1- Light stage
Sufferers are people of all ages who usually have symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty communicating, and changes in mood and behavior . At this point, those affected do not need much help and can tell others about their experiences with this disease. Some people already consider transferring to a home for cognitive losses, but most are able to function in their homes.
2- Moderate stage
It is at this stage that we observe a diminution of the capacities of a person to carry out the daily tasks. It is also at the moderate stage that people suffering from this disease need help and support. The move to a home for Alzheimer's is done more often at this stage of the illness. For others, that's when a family member will become a caregiver .
3- Advanced stage
People are seriously affected and can no longer function in everyday life . The goal, at this stage, is to give them the best possible quality of life. Since these people require a lot of care both during the day and at night, in the vast majority of cases, they will be housed in a care facility, a home for Alzheimer's or cognitive loss.
4- End of life
At this stage, the care provided to people with Alzheimer's disease is focused on their well-being . Since the cognitive and physical faculties will worsen over time, the goal of caregivers is to maintain their comfort and quality of life.
In order to ensure the best possible future for people living with Alzheimer's disease, families can turn to residences for Alzheimer's and cognitive losses that welcome these people with loss of autonomy and provide them with all the necessary care .
You can consult our search tool to find the list of residences for people with cognitive loss / Alzheimer's.