Understanding the 4 A’s of Alzheimer’s: Stages & Symptoms

Seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will display certain recognizable behaviors as a result of changes in their brains. Often characterized by stages, these brain changes occur as the various regions responsible for memories or bodily functions are affected over time. If you provide care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s, recognizing these phases—also referred to as the “4 A’s of Alzheimer’s”—can help you provide the highest level of quality care as the disease progresses. 

1. Amnesia

The first “A” of Alzheimer’s is amnesia, which affects a senior’s short-term memory. Amnesia occurs when seniors with Alzheimer’s are unable to recall facts, events, and information as they would normally. Your loved one may ask questions such as “Where am I?” or “When are we going to eat?” and continue repeating them even if they’ve been answered.

If your parent is showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s a good idea to consider professional in-home care. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Senior Stride Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

2. Aphasia

Aphasia refers to the inability to both communicate and understand. Your loved one may forget learned words, making it difficult to express how he or she is feeling. If your loved one has difficulty understanding spoken or written words, this is referred to as excessive aphasia. Sometimes seniors in this stage of Alzheimer’s will nod in agreement when listening to make it seem as if they understand. It’s also important to keep in mind that while your loved one may not be able to understand words, he or she may still retain the ability to understand nonverbal cues like facial expressions.

3. Apraxia

Apraxia is the inability to coordinate purposeful muscle movement, which makes it difficult or impossible to perform activities of daily living, such as getting dressed or brushing teeth. Along with skilled movement, a person’s sensory perception is affected, making it difficult to interpret sensations such as pain, touch, temperature, and pressure. Later, other functions that were once second nature, such as walking, chewing, and swallowing, will become affected, increasing the risk of choking or aspiration.

If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, an Oshkosh senior home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

4. Agnosia

The fourth of the four A’s is recognized as the inability to adequately process and interpret signals from the five senses. As a result, those in this stage may not be able to recognize once-familiar faces and objects. Another typical agnosia symptom is being unable to recognize internal sensations, such as chest pain or a full bladder.

Every senior living with Alzheimer’s deserves high-quality Alzheimer’s care. Oshkosh families can rely on the caregivers at Senior Stride Home Care to keep their loved ones safe while managing the symptoms of the disease. Using our Cognitive Therapeutics Method, our caregivers help seniors regain a sense of pride and accomplishment while promoting cognitive health. Call 920-717-1767 today to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager to formulate a home care plan for your loved one.

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