Nothing can prepare you for the changes ahead when someone you love is diagnosed with dementia. However, knowing what to expect at different stages can help you find ways to cope as the condition progresses. As a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, learning as much as you can about the stages of dementia can help you mentally prepare for what’s next.
The Global Deterioration Scale developed by Dr. Barry Reisberg defines the seven stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of primary degenerative dementia. The scale is commonly used by health care professionals when communicating with patients and families about planning for dementia care. The progression of dementia looks different for everyone and the length of time for each stage can vary, but most people with dementia experience a gradual shift from mild to moderate to severe symptoms.
Stage 1: No Cognitive Decline
The first stage can be defined as a normal functioning stage where a person has no memory impairment or symptoms of cognitive decline. The changes that happen in the brain in this early stage are often hidden. In this stage, a person continues with normal activities with no indication of any problems related to dementia.
Stage 2: Age-Associated Memory Impairment
In this stage, a person may experience very mild memory impairment that’s comparable to normal age-related memory loss. Your loved one might forget familiar names, forget words, or frequently misplace things. Although your loved one might be aware of these memory slips, the changes are usually mild enough to go unnoticed by friends, family members and doctors. A person with age-associated memory impairment will be able to continue working, traveling, and managing daily tasks as usual.
Stage 3: Mild Cognitive Impairment
Memory loss may become noticeable to your loved one and those around them at this stage. Mild impairment shows up in a variety of ways. Your loved one may have trouble remembering recent events or activities, or the names of familiar people or things. Symptoms can also include difficulty following conversations, changes in mood or emotion, and mild problems with coordination. It’s time to see a health care provider when symptoms begin to interfere with day-to-day life.
Caregiver concerns: Although your loved one may be able to live independently at this stage with occasional help from friends or family, you may be thinking about how to support them as their needs increase. Caregiving in this stage focuses on adjusting to the changes and making plans for the future. Time frame: This stage can last 2 to 7 years.
Stage 4: Mild Dementia
In this stage, you may notice increased forgetfulness and problems with thinking and reasoning. Your loved one may forget what they had for lunch or struggle to recall the names of friends and family. As dementia affects communication skills, they may struggle to use the phone and may not engage as much in conversation. They may withdraw from social situations. Simple tasks may become more difficult, and they may need help paying bills and managing their finances.
Caregiver concerns: Safety becomes a larger concern in this stage. Start making plans now for the changes ahead, including exploring options for in-home nursing care or moving to a memory care community. Learning as much as you can about dementia care will make navigating next steps easier. Time frame: The duration of this stage is about 2 years.
Stage 5: Moderate Dementia
Problems with memory, thinking and judgment worsen at this stage. Your loved one may forget how to do simple tasks like brushing their teeth or combing their hair. They may need help with getting dressed, making meals, or other activities of daily living. At this stage, it’s common to forget significant information like their address or major life events. As dementia progresses, your loved one may be confused about where they are or what day it is, and they may experience problems with orientation and wandering.
Caregiver concerns: Keeping your loved one safe becomes the top priority, as they’ll need 24/7 care and supervision at this stage. As a caregiver, it’s important to take care of yourself and seek emotional support from family members, a support group or counselor.
Time frame: The duration of this stage is 1.5 years on average.
Stage 6: Moderately Severe Dementia
The effects of dementia make it increasingly difficult to communicate and perform basic skills at this stage. There may be times when they don’t recognize family and friends. Anger, paranoia, wandering, eating problems, obsessive behaviors, hallucinations and incontinence may occur. Disturbed sleep patterns can lead to sleeplessness during the night and exhaustion during the day.
Caregiver concerns: Challenging behaviors like shouting, agitation, disturbed sleep, and repetitive behavior can make caregiving increasingly difficult. During this stage, it’s essential that your loved one has the support they need in a safe environment.
Time frame: This stage can last around 2.5 years.
Stage 7: Severe Dementia
Late-stage dementia brings devastating changes for patients and their families. Your loved one may lose the ability to communicate, walk, smile, swallow, or participate in personal care activities. They may be unable to recognize people, places and objects. Constant care will be needed In this stage, and hospice care can provide or extra support focused on pain management and comfort care near the end of life.
Caregiver concerns: Communicating with your loved one’s care team at a memory care community can help ensure your loved one is getting the support they need.
Time frame: This stage may last 1.5 to 2.5 years.
SUPPORTING YOUR FAMILY’S JOURNEY WITH ALZHEIMER’S
Freedom Village of Bradenton offers specialized, compassionate memory care services for all stages. We understand the challenge and heartbreak that different stages of dementia can present, and the importance of having quality memory care and support every step of the way. Contact our team today to tour our memory care facility. Contact us today by calling 941-219-5294.
As you know, the gig economy has been booming over the past several years. If youre thinking of using your skills to take on a side gig, what should you do with the money youll make?Theres no one right answer for everyone, and the decisions you make should be based on your individual situation. And of course, you may simply need the extra income to support your lifestyle and pay the bills. But if you already have your cash flow in good shape, and you have some freedom with your gig money, consider these suggestions: Contribute more to your IRA. If you couldnt afford to contribute the maximum amount to your IRA, you may find it easier to do so when you have additional money coming in from a side gig. For the 2023 tax year, you can put in up to $6,500 to a traditional or Roth IRA, or $7,500 if youre 50 or older. (Starting in 2024, this extra $1,000 catch-up contribution amount may be indexed for inflation.) The amount you can contribute to a Roth IRA is reduced, and eventually eliminated, at certain income levels. Look for new investment opportunities. If youre already maxing out your IRA, you might be able to find other investment possibilities for your side gig money. For example, if you have young children, perhaps you could use some of the money to invest in a 529 education savings plan. A 529 plan offers potential tax advantages and can be used for college, qualified trade school programs, and possibly some K-12 expenses. Please keep in mind that potential tax advantages will vary from state to state. Build an emergency fund. Life is full of unexpected events and some can be quite expensive. What if you needed a major car repair or required a medical procedure that wasnt totally covered by your health insurance? Would you have the cash available to pay these bills? If not, would you be forced to dip into your IRA or 401(k)? This might not be a good move, as it could incur taxes and penalties, and deprive you of resources you might eventually need for retirement. Thats why you might want to use your gig earnings to help fund an emergency fund containing several months worth of living expenses, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account. To avoid being tempted to dip into your emergency fund, you may want to keep it separate from your daily spending accounts. Pay down debts. Most of us will always carry some debts, but we can usually find ways to include the bigger ones mortgage, car payments and so on into our monthly budgets. Its often the smaller debt payments, frequently associated with high-interest-rate credit cards, that cause us the most trouble, in terms of affecting our cash flow. If you can use some of your side gig money to pay down these types of debts, you could possibly ease some of the financial stress you might be feeling. And instead of directing money to pay for things you purchased in the past, you could use the funds to invest for your future.As weve seen, your side gig money could open several promising windows of opportunity so take a look through all of them. Chad Choate III, AAMS828 3rd Avenue WestBradenton, FL email@example.com This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
Its been a bumpy year for the financial markets which means that some of your investments may have underperformed or lost value. Can you use these losses to your advantage?Its possible. If you have some investments that have lost value, you could sell them to offset taxable capital gains from other investments. If your losses exceed gains for the year, you could use the remaining losses to offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income. And any amount over $3,000 can be carried forward to offset gains in future years. This tax-loss harvesting can be advantageous if you plan to sell investments that youve held in taxable accounts for years and that have grown significantly in value. And you might receive some gains even if you take no action yourself. For example, when you own mutual funds, the fund manager can decide to sell stocks or other investments within the funds portfolio and then pay you a portion of the proceeds. These payments, known as capital gains distributions, are taxable to you whether you take them as cash or reinvest them back into the fund. Still, despite the possible tax benefits of selling investments whose price has fallen, you need to consider carefully whether such a move is in your best interest. If an investment has a clear place in your holdings, and it offers good business fundamentals and favorable prospects, you might not want to sell it just because its value has dropped. On the other hand, if the investments youre thinking of selling are quite similar to others you own, it might make sense to sell, take the tax loss and then use the proceeds of the sale to purchase new investments that can help fill any gaps in your portfolio. If you do sell an investment and reinvest the funds, youll want to be sure your new investment is different in nature from the one you sold. Otherwise, you could risk triggering the wash sale rule, which states that if you sell an investment at a loss and buy the same or a substantially identical investment within 30 days before or after the sale, the loss is generally disallowed for income tax purposes.Heres one more point to keep in mind about tax-loss harvesting: Youll need to take into account just how long youve held the investments youre considering selling. Thats because long-term losses are first applied against long-term gains, while short-term losses are first applied against short-term gains. (Long-term is defined as more than a year; short-term is one year or less.) If you have excess losses in one category, you can then apply them to gains of either type. Long-term capital gains are taxed at 0%, 15% or 20%, depending on your income, while short-term gains are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. So, from a tax perspective, taking short-term losses could provide greater benefits if your tax rate is higher than the highest capital gains rate.Youll want to contact your tax advisor to determine whether tax-loss harvesting is appropriate for your situation and youll need to do it soon because the deadline is Dec. 31. But whether you pursue this technique this year or not, you may want to keep it in mind for the future because youll always have investment tax issues to consider. Chad Choate III, AAMS828 3rd Avenue WestBradenton, FL firstname.lastname@example.org This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.Edward Jones, Member SIPC
As you go through life, youll have various financial goals and to achieve them, youll need to invest. But just recognizing the need to invest is not as useful as matching specific types of accounts or investments with specific goals. How can you make these connections?Lets look at some common goals and how they could possibly be met with appropriate accounts and investments: Saving for a down payment on a house When youre saving for a down payment, you want a certain amount of money available at a certain time so, for this goal, you wont want to take too much risk. Consequently, you might consider investing in certificates of deposit (CDs), which will pay you regular interest payments and return your principal when the CDs mature. CDs are issued in a range of maturities, from one month to 10 years. Other vehicles you might consider are money market accounts or other cash equivalents. Saving for a childs education If you have children, and youd like to help them pay for some form of higher education, you may want to consider a 529 education savings plan. Any earnings growth in a 529 plan is federally tax free, provided the withdrawals are used for qualified education expenses, and you may also receive state tax benefits. A 529 plan can be used for college, approved trade school programs, student loan repayments and some K-12 costs. And if the child youve named as a beneficiary chooses not to continue their education, and doesnt need the money in a 529 plan, you can generally switch beneficiaries to another immediate family member. Saving for retirement This is the one goal that will remain consistent throughout your working years after all, you could spend two or even three decades in retirement, so youll need to accumulate as many financial resources as you can to pay for those years. Fortunately, you likely have access to several good retirement-savings vehicles. If you work for a business, you might have a 401(k) plan, which offers you the chance to put away money on a tax-deferred basis. (If you have a Roth option in your 401(k), your withdrawals can be tax free, although, unlike a traditional 401(k), your contributions wont lower your taxable income.) If you work for a public school or a nonprofit organization, you may be able to participate in a 403(b) plan, which is quite similar to a 401(k), and the same is true if you work for a state or local government, where you might have a 457(b) plan. And even if you invest in any of these plans, you can probably also contribute to an IRA, which gives you another chance to invest on a tax-deferred basis (or tax-free basis, if youre eligible for a Roth IRA). Try to take full advantage of whatever retirement plans are available to you.Here's one final point to keep in mind: While some investments and accounts are appropriate for certain goals, they may not necessarily be suitable for your individual situation so keep all your options in mind and take the steps that are right for you. Chad Choate III, AAMS828 3rd Avenue WestBradenton, FL email@example.com This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
Freedom Village of Bradenton, located just six miles from the Gulf Coast beaches in West Bradenton, Florida, is a premier Continuing Care Retirement Community that offers beautiful and spacious living accommodations and a full range of health care services. Our community provides a safe, friendly and comfortable environment for our residents, from upscale apartments and villas in Independent Living, to the personalized services we offer in Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation.Nestled on a scenic, 34-acre campus, our residents enjoy peace of mind, security, connections with others and a worry-free lifestyle. Freedom Village provides a blend of tranquility and abundant opportunities for residents to pursue their interests without the burdens of home ownership. Our resort-style living offers a variety of dining options, top-notch amenities and services throughout campus, and a full schedule of social, educational, and wellness events and activities. Our dedicated staff is available 24 hours a day; you'll rest easy knowing that we consider it a pleasure to meet your every need. Call 941-799-6855 to learn more about our services or to schedule a personalized visit. We look forward to sharing our beautiful campus with you.
Freedom Village of Bradenton, located just six miles from the Gulf Coast beaches in West Bradenton, Florida is a premier Continuing Care Retirement Community that offers beautiful and spacious living accommodations and a full range of health care services. Our community provides a safe, friendly and comfortable environment for our residents, from upscale apartments and villas in Independent Living, to the personalized services we offer in Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation.Sometimes a helping hand is all you need to keep living the life you love. To support residents' independence and dignity, assisted living services provide help with basic activities of daily living, including bathing, toileting, dressing and grooming, and medication management. Residents are empowered to request or decline assistance in any of these areas: * Personalized care assessment * Personal concierge services * Three meals per day * Scheduled transportation * Weekly housekeeping * Access to all community activitiesNestled on a scenic, 34-acre campus, our residents enjoy peace of mind, security, connections with others, and a worry-free lifestyle. Freedom Village provides a blend of tranquility and abundant opportunities for residents to pursue their interests without the burdens of home ownership. Our resort-style living offers top-notch amenities and services throughout campus, and a full schedule of social, educational, and wellness events and activities. Our dedicated staff is available 24 hours a day; you'll rest easy knowing that we consider it a pleasure to meet your every need. Call 941-799-6855 to learn more about our services or to schedule a personalized visit. We look forward to sharing our beautiful campus with you.
Freedom Village of Bradenton, located just six miles from the Gulf Coast beaches in West Bradenton, Florida is a premier Continuing Care Retirement Community that offers beautiful and spacious living accommodations and a full range of health care services, including Skilled Nursing. Our community provides a safe, friendly and comfortable environment for our residents, from upscale apartments and villas in Independent Living, to the personalized services we offer in Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation.A warm and professional team delivers high-level care around the clock for long-term residents or short-term residents recovering from a hospital stay. Team members in our community bring both expertise and compassion to achieve a holistic, person-centered approach to care. * Private and companion care suites * Personalized care plan * Comprehensive team of health care professionalsCall 941-799-6855 to learn more about our services or to schedule a personalized visit. We look forward to sharing our beautiful campus with you.