Dementia can be defined as the acquired deterioration of the brain from a previously higher level of functioning that impairs the successful completion of daily tasks. Because this is a gradual change, there are multiple stages of dementia. This article focuses on moderate dementia. This is considered the middle stage and also has been found to last the longest. This stage of dementia is most commonly characterized by difficulties completing daily tasks such as cooking or cleaning and needing some assistance with living.
What to Expect With Moderate Stage Dementia
During the moderate stage of dementia, the disease spreads to the frontal lobe of the brain. This section of the brain helps us with our higher level thinking. It controls our abilities to problem solve, think logically, speak, plan, take initiative and control impulses. When this portion of the brain begins to become affected by dementia, it becomes more difficult to make judgments and pay attention for extended periods of time. Other common symptoms include:
- Forgetfulness of recent events or names
- Communication problems
- Difficulties with time and orientation
- Issues with instrumental activities of daily living
- Inability to safely live alone
- Behavioral changes such as wandering, aggression and interrupted sleep.
Treatments for Moderate Stage Dementia
While there is no existing cure for dementia, there are a number of options to ease this process as it progresses in the brain.
- Medication – medicinal remedies can reduce symptoms by adjusting chemicals that carry signals to the brain. Prescribed medications may change over time as a patient’s needs evolve.
- Memantine – This is a specific drug that targets language, thinking and memory function.
- Therapy – There are a number of therapies that exist (occupational, physical, music) that can improve an individual’s quality of life. As the disease progresses, a medical professional would be able to assess the need for such treatments on a case by case situation.
Living with dementia can often be challenging for individuals and their caregivers. As symptoms progress, more care becomes necessary. Here at Orchard at Brookhaven, we are prepared to provide you and/or your loved one with the assistance you may need. Our senior living facility in Atlanta offers a multitude of amenities that will help you feel right at home. If you are interested in finding out more about us or to schedule a tour, please contact us.