Dementia is a progressive condition that leads to issues with memory, communication, comprehension, and reasoning for older adults. Although there’s no cure, there are healthy lifestyle choices aging adults can make to slow dementia’s progression. Learn how quickly dementia can progress and what can be done to slow it down.
The effects and progression rate of dementia vary from person to person. Some factors can cause the condition to worsen, such as age, genetics, diabetes, heart disease, and other health complications. Managing dementia can alleviate many of its symptoms and increase longevity.
Other factors that affect the progression rate of dementia include:
• Chronic stress
Types of Dementia
Depending on the type of dementia, symptoms can occur quickly or take months or years to develop. For example, Alzheimer’s is a specific type of dementia, and it typically progresses at the slowest rate. Alzheimer’s disease could take four to eight years to advance, and some seniors who maintain healthy lifestyles can live for 20 years after being diagnosed. However, other types of dementia, such as vascular dementia and rapid-onset dementia, progress at a faster rate. Seniors who have vascular dementia typically live up to five years after their first symptoms are detected. Aging adults with rapid-onset dementia could have a life expectancy of 4 to 18 months after diagnosis, due to the rapidly progressive nature of this type of dementia.
The cognitive challenges that accompany dementia often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Stages of Dementia
There’s no exact timeline for the progression of dementia. However, certain stages let your family know how quickly dementia could unfold. Keep in mind your loved one’s current health will determine what stage he or she is in and how rapidly he or she progresses to the next stage.
• Stage One – Seniors generally don’t display any noticeable signs of impairment
• Stage Two – Signs of cognitive decline, such as slight memory loss, will become noticeable
• Stage Three – Aging adults may experience difficulty with focusing, organizing, and working, typically years before the onset of dementia
• Stage Four – During this stage, the moderate signs of cognitive decline last for approximately two years and affect the ability to remember details, solve problems, and maintain a social life
• Stage Five – The effects of cognitive decline require seniors to receive assistance with daily living
• Stage Six – Severe cognitive decline leads to personality changes, incontinence, and difficulty speaking, and seniors may require complete assistance with daily living
• Stage Seven – In this most severe stage of dementia, elderly people lose their ability to walk and communicate
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Clearwater seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
Tips to Boost Cognitive Health
There’s no cure for dementia, but there are ways for seniors to reduce their risk of developing this condition or slow its progression. Seniors should follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, socialize, manage stress, and avoid head injuries. They should also participate in mental activities that boost their cognitive health and slow down the aging process.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Clearwater homecare services provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (727) 330-7862 today.