CNA Training: Understanding the Stages of Alzheimer’s

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When providing care for an Alzheimer’s patient it can be important for a CNA training graduate to know what stage that patient is in and what that stage looks like for most patients. This helps you to determine how you might approach situations that arise during your care. It is important to note that every patient is different. In you CNA training you learned to treat every patient with respect and care. Patients with Alzheimer’s are no different. Understanding what each stage looks like will help you determine what actions to take when caring for your patient.

CNA Training and Alzheimer’s

CNA Training and Stage 1- Mild

This stage is typically called the “slow down” stage because everything from energy to brain function is just slower. An Alzheimer patient at this stage may take longer to make decisions or react to situations. This is not always noticeable unless you are around the person often. The patient may also begin to make poor choices with money and forget to pay bills. If the patent begins to get frustrated, they might lash out verbally. You might also notice a slow progressing depression. It is often demonstrated by a lack of interested in favorite activities and family functions. This stage is slow progressing. It has been know to last over twenty years but some patients move very quickly through the first stage of Alzheimer’s

CNA Training and Stage 2- Moderate

The second stage of Alzheimer’s is usually a faster progressing stage. This is the stage that a CNA training graduate will begin to be needed. You will be responsible for helping the patient dress and eat. He will still want to try to do things for himself but as he progresses in this stage, he will have more difficulties. Memory loss is prevalent and the patient will often confuse you for other people, family members and/or other staff.  Because your patient may become easily confused, you may notice the patient wandering off. You will need to keep a close eye on his movements to ensure he doesn’t get lost. You will also notice a progressive loss of emotional control. The CNA training graduate will often be relied upon to calm the patient down and help him to regain composure. This stage is a fast progressing but it is also a long stage. Patients have been known to be at stage 2 for over 10 years.

CNA Training and Stage 3- Sever

This is the third and final stage of Alzheimer’s. At this stage, the patient will be completely dependent on his CNA training graduate. You will be responsible for bathing, feeding and clothing. The patient will become incontinent and will need to be changed regularly.  You will notice that the patient has lost most of his memory and rarely speaks, if speaks at all. The patient will often just stare off in a direction for hours. He will also begin to not feel hunger and thirst. The CNA will be responsible for keeping meal times and feeding. You may notice a drop in weight (sometimes over 30 lbs). The patient will begin loosing balance and become bedridden. Once the patient is bedridden, his entire body functions will begin to shut down. This last stage can be the hardest for family members to coop with so you may also be needed to console families. This stage can last two to five years.

Now that you are able to identify the different stages of Alzheimer’s disease just remember your CNA training. You know how to take care of all patients. Alzheimer’s patients will progressive require more of your care overtime. The biggest thing to remember is to remain calm in every situation and treat the patient with care and respect. As a CNA training graduate you can help make their last years joyful even if they are not able to express their gratitude.

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