Dementia is a progressive disease. And though everyone’s journey is different, there are three primary stages, each with its own unique set of symptoms. Understanding each stage can provide insight into different care strategies to help reduce frustration and suffering for both the individual with dementia and their caregiver.
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
In the early stages of dementia, cognitive deficits start to become apparent to family and friends. The person gradually has more difficulty with things like remembering names, finding words, or concentrating on the task at hand.
A person with MCI might get confused easier, get lost while in unfamiliar situations, or have increased difficulty performing certain tasks. The desire for social interaction decreases. They may continue to withdraw from activities they once found stimulating and enjoyable.
Denial is often a problem at this stage of dementia.
At this stage, it’s important to start building systems to help compensate for memory loss. Calendars, planners, and visual references can aid in helping everyone stay on track. [Read more…]