Understanding Alzheimer’s Basics: Caregiver Tips


At the time of diagnosis, individuals and their families facing Alzheimer’s may be unaware of its wide range of symptoms and how the disease will impact their daily lives. The first step any family should take is to learn as much as they possibly can about the disease to prepare themselves for the behavioral changes, loss of day-to-day abilities and cognitive decline that occur as the disease progresses.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, meaning that it gets worse as time goes on. At first, the effects of the disease may be barely noticeable, but symptoms will gradually appear and worsen over a period of four to twenty years, depending on other health factors.

What to Expect Throughout the Disease Process

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can appear differently in each individual, however, everyone experiences the same general decline in cognitive abilities.

Experts have categorized the symptoms of Alzheimer’s into three general stages: early-stage, mid-stage and late-stage. In the early stages, most individuals experience few symptoms and can still function normally and independently, carrying out daily tasks at home and at work despite noticing a few lapses in memory.

Mid-stage Alzheimer’s is usually the longest period of the disease, lasting up to several years. During this stage, symptoms such as memory loss and trouble communicating are noticeable to others and can make it difficult for the person to carry out familiar tasks. Common symptoms during this stage include:

  • Forgetfulness of new or familiar information, such as details about one’s own history.
  • Feeling withdrawn or moody, especially in the midst of social situations or when they are attempting a task that is mentally challenging.
  • Confusion about what day it is or where they are.
  • Changes in sleep patterns, such as napping frequently during the day and becoming restless in the evening and during the night.
  • Increased risk of wandering away or becoming lost.
  • Personality or behavioral changes, which could include inappropriate speech or behavior, suspiciousness and delusions or compulsive, repetitive actions such as hand-wringing.

A person is considered to be in late-stage Alzheimer’s whenever they are no longer able to respond to their environment. The damage to the brain becomes so severe that individuals can no longer carry on a conversation or, eventually, control their movements. They may still be able to speak, but coherent communication is extremely difficult. At this stage, individuals will need around-the-clock care in order to carry out daily activities such as dressing, bathing, going to the bathroom and eating. This is the point at which loved ones usually benefit from professional assistance either in the home or at a community dedicated to memory care.

The Art of Living

At Tuscan Gardens® of Venetia Bay, we’ve mastered the art of living. We’ve perfected the balance of personalized support and an uplifting lifestyle, helping our residents experience independence, joy and meaning every day.

Offering supportive independent living, assisted living and memory care services for families in Venice, Florida, Tuscan Gardens of Venetia Bay was founded with one simple, yet profound goal – to create a community worthy of our parents. In all we do, we are guided by the principles of family, culture and engagement, working to represent the remarkable way of life our families deserve.

The essence of our community is made up not only of mere aesthetics, but an artfully designed lifestyle to bring out the best of what each day has to offer. From dedicated care that respects residents’ individuality and dignity to a lifestyle that nurtures their love of life, Tuscan Gardens was built to be more than just a residence, but a place to call home.

To learn more about our comfortable, elegant community, contact us today!