Our family and friends contribute to many memories, ones that we especially cherish. From birthdays to vacations, to graduations, these moments make up the patch quilt of our lives. So when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, it can feel as though your whole world has been turned upside down. Understandably, a diagnosis of dementia affects not only the family member receiving it, but also those who are a part of that irreplaceable quilt.
Do you have questions about dementia?
Are you interested in finding innovative care and therapy options?
Do you want to learn more about a memory care community that can help to provide such options?
Dementia is a term used to describe an individual’s decline in memory or his or her ability to think, which affects their ability to adequately perform everyday activities.
One of the most common types of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for approximately 60 to 80 percent of all cases. The second most common type of dementia is vascular dementia – one that occurs after a stroke. However, there are several other conditions that may cause symptoms of dementia.
Since dementia is progressive, its symptoms worsen over time. Although there is currently no cure, we are able to improve the quality of life for those with dementia and their loved ones. We love and care for your family as we do our own.
Though it may seem odd, the lowest dementia stage on the scale is normal mental functioning, or no cognitive impairment. There are no signs or symptoms of dementia, memory loss, behavioral problems or other changes associated with the onset of dementia.
Where the heck did I put my keys? What was that person’s name? According to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research, at least half of the over-65 population reports some minor age-related forgetfulness. Caregivers or medical providers may not even notice such mild impairment, and it is not considered to be actual dementia, though it is part of the scale of dementia stages and may precede more noticeable cognitive decline.
When memory and cognitive problems become more regular, as well as noticeable to caregivers and loved ones, a person is said to be suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Since mild cognitive decline can herald more severe stages of dementia in the future, it is important to recognize the signs of this stage in order to alleviate stress in the person, as well as initiate a medical course of action in the event that the dementia is treatable. Though MCI does not generally have a major impact on day-to-day functioning, some common signs include:
At this point, a person has clearly visible signs of mental impairment that point to early-stage dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to worsening of the symptoms discussed above, caregivers should stay alert for signs of:
Beginning at stage 5 and continuing into the later stages of dementia, a person may no longer be able to carry out normal day-to-day activities such as dressing or bathing without some caregiver assistance. Also, stage 5 marks the onset of what many professionals refer to as mid-stage dementia. Other symptoms that manifest during this stage include:
Stage 6 is also known as middle dementia or moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease, depending on the diagnosis. This dementia stage is characterized by a need for caregiver help to perform even basic daily activities, such as dressing, eating, using the toilet and other self-care. Further symptoms may include sleep difficulties, incontinence, personality changes including paranoia or delusions, anxiety, pronounced memory loss and inability to recognize loved ones.
In severe Alzheimer’s disease or late-stage dementia, a person is essentially unable to care for themselves, and suffers from both communication and motor impairment. They may lose the ability to speak, walk or smile without help.
Whether your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia-causing illness, familiarizing yourself with the seven clinically recognized stages of dementia can help you arrange for the care they need, when they need it.
At the Kensington in Falls Church, we care deeply about the health, happiness, and safety of your loved one. In fact, we love and care for your family as we do our own. Though we acknowledge the challenges and concerns that may arise surrounding a diagnosis of dementia, we work alongside you to provide support in a professional and compassionate manner that is customized to your loved one’s individual case.
With a state-of-the-art memory care program and a staff-to-resident ratio based upon resident needs, we provide manageable, comfortable, and kindhearted care for your loved one by including the following:
We believe that each resident is truly valuable and important – regardless of the severity of his or her memory loss. That’s why we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all mentality. Instead, we cater to each individual. We support our residents’ strengths to provide the best in comfort and care.
We believe in discovering different ways to find the beauty in each moment. We provide individual services that aid us in providing an environment in which we can achieve that goal:
By utilizing state-of-the-art therapies, the Kensington creates customized, individual service plans to help each resident achieve his or her personal needs and desires. Not only do we take into account the physical aspects of each individual’s health, but we also strive to care for their cognitive and spiritual health equally. We provide the following to help enrich the lives of your loved one:
Learn more about Leandra Sims, The Kensington’s Positive Approach to Care (PAC) Trainer.
Every individual is unique. That’s why we believe that each resident deserves to live in a community that is best for them and their individual degree of memory loss. To ensure that our residents receive the most beneficial and appropriate care for their individual circumstances, we break our community into two different “neighborhoods.”
An intimate and comfortable environment, Connections is designed for residents who are experiencing early-to-middle stages of dementia. As such, the neighborhood is made to care for those who are showing increasing signs of memory loss.
In Connections, we strive to help residents be independently engaged in their interactions and socialization, guiding them to find purpose and meaning each and every day. We stay attuned to our residents’ maximum cognitive abilities and recall in order to make the most of their strengths and abilities, supporting them and their families.
Designed for those residents who are showing more advanced signs of memory loss, Haven provides peace and security for those with middle-to-late stages of dementia.
Since these individuals require more assistance and a higher level of care, we strive to create a safe and soothing space with minimal distress and no shortage of compassion.
Looking at life differently isn’t always easy, but it can always be beautiful. This is a journey that you and your family do not have to go through on your own. Although dementia may impact our lives, it doesn’t have to diminish our happiness.
At the Kensington we are honored to help you and your family care for your loved one, so that you can spend more time with them, enjoying the happy moments. We encourage family and friends to come and visit your loved one as often as possible, though you can rest assured knowing that when you are not here, your loved one is in compassionate, capable, and expert hands.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia and is experiencing memory loss – no matter what stage – the Kensington is here to help make a positive difference.
Where your loved one can feel at home, with exceptional care from a family of staff.