My person is in the 'moderate' phase of the disease process. What do I need to know about this stage?
The person in the moderate stage of dementia may be experiencing more confusion and difficulties with everyday tasks. This stage is progressive and may last several years. The person may begin to have difficulties with beginning a task, staying on task and finishing the task. The role of the caregiver increases from supervisor to coach to full care partner. For the person with dementia their short term memory may go from several minutes long to several seconds long and their long term memory may also begin to be affected. It is not unusual for the person to resist going out, resist any changes, resist help, and have difficulty understanding their everyday life. Repetitive questioning can be frustrating for the caregiver at this time and questions like; Where are we going? When is lunch? Why are we here? can be asked and require an answer multiple times a day. Often the changes in mood can be surprising to the caregiver and expressions of anger and quick temper can lead to conflict and arguments between the care partner and the person with dementia. Often this stage also brings with it a feeling on the part of the person with dementia and the care partner that they are prisoners. Often the care partner does not feel secure in leaving the person at home alone during this time. Sometimes the person with dementia, as changes occur and they are being asked to do many things, feel that they are living with a jailor and have lost control over their lives. Often there are physical changes in the person with dementia and this will require the care partner to be more physically supportive which can cause decreases in their own physical wellbeing. There are many strategies and supports that can be put into place to help in this phase. Please connect with the Alzheimer Society outreach counsellor so that we can help to direct your needs to the best supports available.