The 3 Phases of Alzheimer’s Disease

alzheimers-disease-careMore than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s. It’s likely that you already know someone who has Alzheimer’s or who is caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. It can be frightening to find out that family member is suffering from this disease, but sometimes knowing more about what to expect can help.

Although Alzheimer’s affects all individuals differently, there are generally three stages that people experience. However, your loved one may move through these stages at a different rate, and sometimes the stages overlap. Your loved one may exhibit some symptoms of early-stage Alzheimer’s and some symptoms of middle-stage Alzheimer’s, for example.

Alzheimer’s disease begins making changes in a person’s brain long before symptoms are apparent. Theses changes can sometimes be detected with brain imaging like fMRI, but you won’t notice any difference in the person’s day to day behaviors. This stage is referred to as “preclinical Alzheimer’s,” and it is not considered one of the three phases since no symptoms are apparent. Preclinical Alzheimer’s can last for several years before changes in the person’s habits or lifestyle become apparent.

Mild or Early-Stage Alzheimer’s
During this first phase of Alzheimer’s, problems may be apparent only to close friends or family members who spend a lot of time with the person. Doctors may also notice memory or concentration problems during detailed interviews. For the most part, however, this phase may be undetectable from a distance.

People with early-stage Alzheimer’s often work, participate in social activities, drive, live alone, and function independently. They may begin to have memory lapses more often than they used to. All people have memory lapses once in a while, like forgetting what day of the week it is and later remembering, or not being able to think of a particular word or object name for a little while. However, people with early-stage Alzheimer’s will begin to have more frequent lapses. They may have more trouble than usual remembering names when meeting new people, often forget things they’ve just read, or have increasing trouble with planning and organizing.

After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which can sometimes happen during the early stage, the average person lives four to eight more years. However, this is only an average, and some people live up to 20 more years.

Moderate or Middle-Stage Alzheimer’s
Middle-stage Alzheimer’s is typically the longest phase, and it may last for many years. People in this stage will require gradually increasing levels of care, and will exhibit more serious symptoms. Damage to nerve cells in the brains of people with middle-stage Alzheimer’s may lead to these people acting differently than they used to. They may get frustrated or angry often or stop doing routine things like bathing. They may find it difficult to express their thoughts, which can make them more frustrated.

During this stage, people typically become increasingly forgetful about important events and their own past, get confused, and develop erratic sleeping habits. They may also experience personality changes that require a great deal of patience from caregivers and family members, like becoming moody, suspicious, and compulsive.

Severe or Late-Stage Alzheimer’s
In the final stage of this disease, people may need help with personal care and activities around the clock. They may develop difficulty communicating or experience changes in physical abilities. They may become less able to walk, sit up, or swallow. They often lose awareness of recent experiences and do not respond to their surroundings.

Caring for People with Alzheimer’s
It can be difficult to care for people with Alzheimer’s Disease as they begin to need help more and more frequently. Many families find they are unable to handle the advanced needs of their loved ones who suffer from Alzheimer’s. Facilities like Maplewood Sauk Prairie can ease some of the burden with kind, professional, and highly trained staff that will care for your loved ones and allow you to be highly involved in their treatment and daily life. We are happy to speak with you and give tours of our facility, so if you would like to talk about Alzheimer’s care program, give us a call at (608) 643-3383.

Maplewood is like a good bottle of aged, fine wine. Only time and quality ingredients can create the complexities needed to become a superior product. At Maplewood, it’s about the care. You’ll receive emotional & physical care by certified, trained staff members in an ideal environment.
Maplewood’s memory care unit was built to create the best experience for a person with dementia. Too much stimulation heightens anxieties so there are a small number of residents in the memory care community and each resident has a private room and private bathroom. It is a cheery, safe place with an outdoor courtyard, where residents truly feel at home.
• Residents experience consistency and compassion. At Maplewood they are in contact with the same staff even at a time when other facilities are hiring temp agencies to fill openings.
• Trained staff – every employee at Maplewood has training on Alzheimer’s/Dementia twice a year. They know how to approach a person with memory decline, understand behaviors they exhibit, effectively act and react to residents and use successful wording.
• Every employee caring for your loved one is at the very least state certified as a CNA, Certified Nursing Assistant. This means your loved one will experience the best care methods. This includes proper hygiene, injury prevention, averting infections through excellent incontinence care and reducing complications such as aspiration, pneumonia or skin breakdown.
• Maplewood has nurses on staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means a nurse will respond immediately to a concern. Some facilities have a nurse “on call”, which means a lag time for getting a response when there is a critical situation.

• Experienced employees regularly help on a personal and professional level by giving guidance and support. It is common for family members to consult with Maplewood staff about what to do for their loved ones.
• 3.5:1 ratio for resident to staff member.
• On-site speech, occupational and physical therapy with licensed therapist, 6 days a week.
• Use non pharmaceutical interventions such as diathermy & ultra sound to reduce both falls and pain management.
• Maplewood uses a multi-disciplinary approach. They look at nutrition, dehydration, overall medicine management and activities that encourage a positive distraction and will give residents purpose.
With dementia, memory loss is only the tip of the iceberg. A person can’t get back the memory that has been lost. At Maplewood we stimulate what remains. Individualized care plans are created by a nurse with coordinating activities that work around any skills which have been affected. For instance, music, dancing, rhythms and prayers are parts of memory that will always remain, so those activities are incorporated into daily activities.
To make an analogy many people can relate to, as a parent, you instinctually want your child to be cared for by the best person. You can utilize an inexperienced teenager or a very experienced adult and there will be a very different level of care. It is the same when looking for senior care. At Maplewood there is tremendous “value added” when care providers have specialized CNA training.

Recovery After Joint Surgery with Physical Therapy
Joint surgery is very common in this day and age, so most physical therapists have extensive experience with helping patients recover from surgeries for ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and other joints. A good physical therapist will be acquainted with your surgery and what brought on the need for it, as well as the most effective treatment for you.

Your treatment may differ greatly from someone else who had a similar surgery, but a physical therapist will deliver a personalized therapy plan that will meet your needs and challenges. However, there are a few things that almost all physical therapy plans after joint surgery will have in common.

Preventing Scar Tissue
One of the major goals your physical therapist will have for you is to minimize the scar tissue within your joint. If you have surgery and don’t move the joint enough afterwards, scar tissue may develop on your joint that will limit your future movement. To counteract this scar tissue, you therapist will probably help you get up and moving again very soon after the actual surgery takes place. In addition to regular appointments, physical therapists also often recommend exercise for you to do at home.

Returning to Daily Activities
Another goal your physical therapist will likely have for you is to return to your normal lifestyle or better. Physical therapists will take into account your previous lifestyle and your future goals. For example, did you formerly golf? Do you do a lot of hiking or walking? Or do you just want to be able to chase your grand children around or work around the yard? Returning too quickly to your previous activities may further injure you, but your therapist knows you’re impatient to get back to the activities you enjoy. He or she can help you set appropriate goals and a safe time line for achieving them.

Pain Reduction
Physical therapists also want to reduce your pain as much as possible. They know you were in pain before the surgery, which is the reason it happened in the first place. By helping you choose appropriate and effective exercises, they can target muscles that will support and protect your problematic joints. Building up the appropriate muscles can also help ease the pain and swelling around your joints after surgery. This will also help you restore a comfortable range of motion.

The weeks following a joint surgery can be difficult for both the patient and his or her family, but physical therapists are well acquainted with the difficulties you will face during these weeks. Their expertise can help you safely restore comfort and motion to your joints. Be sure to talk with your physical therapist about your goals for your lifestyle after recovery and give them feedback on how the treatment is helping (or not helping) you so they can adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

Should you have any questions about physical therapy or are planning on having an upcoming joint surgery, call the PT staff at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie at 608-643-3383.

For a senior, one of the most worrisome situations is a traumatic fall when no one is around.  What will they do?  Who will get help?  How will they recover?

Falls in the senior community are quite common and can pose a large problem.  Falls can cause injuries, immobility, loss of independence, and even death.

According to the US Center on Disease Control and Prevention:

  • One in three Americans, aged 65+, fall each year.
  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall.
  • Every 19 minutes, a older adult dies from a fall.
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.

Balance Problems Are a Common Cause of Falls in Older Adults

There are a variety of reasons that falls can occur in the elderly.  However, a common problem is balance problems.

Balance disorders, which are more common in adults, can lead to instability with standing or walking.  When the individual loses their balance without anything around to sufficiently stabilize them, the fall can occur.


Balance Therapy at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie

Fortunately, the physical therapy team at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie has the ability to evaluate and treat balance disorders.  Our team has the special knowledge of working with older adults and their balance problems.

balance therapy sauk city wiIn addition, we have specific equipment that we use to better treat those with balance issues.  We are the only therapy center in our area that now uses the OmniStand Dynamic Balancing System.

This equipment allows the therapists to work with patients in a safe and secure manner.  Once the patient is secured in the equipment, they are then able to work on their balance therapy through bending and performing exercises without the fear of ever falling.  This allows the patient to increase their strength, improve their flexibility, and regain their balance mechanisms within their bodies.

If you’d like to learn more about our balance programs within our physical therapy department, contact us at 608-643-3383.



One of the most common health services offered today in healthcare is physical therapy.  It is often widely needed for patients with a wide ranging set of conditions.  Fortunately, effective physical therapy in Sauk Prairie Wisconsin is available at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie.

Who Requires Physical Therapy?

It is not uncommon that your doctor will prescribe you with sessions of physical therapy for a variety of health conditions.  The conditions that they may recommend physical therapy for are numerous, but may include:

  • Injuries; both new and chronic
  • Post-surgery rehabilitation
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Vestibular (balance) therapy
  • Strength or flexibility training
  • and more

Your Initial Visit

physical therapy in sauk prairieOnce you are scheduled for your initial meeting with the physical therapist, you’ll want to know what takes place.

During your first visit, you’ll sit down with the physical therapist (P.T.) who will typically ask you questions about your problem.  Although your health care provide may have referred you, the P.T. will want to better understand your condition and how to best treat it.

The therapist will also want to examine the area using a variety of tests such as range of motion, strength, flexibility, balance, etc.  These initial tests build the framework of the treatment that will serve you best and provide a baseline for the P.T. to monitor how your condition is improving in the future.

Your Physical Therapy Appointments

Upon determining the best treatment plan for you, the physical therapist will often visit with you on a regular basis.  These individual treatments often last between 15 minutes to an hour, and are commonly 1x, 2x, or even 3x per week.  The amount and length of treatment often depends upon your condition, the severity, length of time you’ve had the condition and other contributing factors.

Treatment sessions may include stretching or strengthening exercises, balance training, endurance an conditioning, or other therapies.  The purpose is to return you to a more normal life.

Follow Up Examinations

After a certain period of time, you will most likely have your condition re-evaluated by the physical therapist.  This means that they will again access your overall condition and its progress with an examination.

The results of this physical examination will be compared to the first examination that you have had.  The physical therapist will also take into account other factors, such as your pain levels, activities of daily living and overall well being.  They may recommend continuing on with treatment (should your condition require more therapy) or discharge (if your condition is fully resolved).

After Physical Therapy

After you have been discharged from your physical therapy appointments, you will commonly need to return to see your healthcare provider that referred you for physical therapy.  They’ll want to re-evaluate you to assure that you are fully recovered.

In the event that you need more therapy or your condition suddenly returns, you may again be referred back for more physical therapy.

Physical Therapy at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie

Maplewood of Sauk Prairie has a complete physical therapy and occupational therapy team that can help you when you require physical therapy services.

Our physical therapy department is completely staffed with a talented rehabilitation team and we have complete access to a wide range of the most necessary therapy tools and equipment.

If your healthcare provider believes you need physical therapy, request that you be treated at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie.  You are welcome to call us at 608-643-3383 if you have any questions.




As we move through all of the stages in life, certain health conditions can become more pervasive.  One condition that often falls ‘under the radar’ and, in fact, many people have not even heard of is metabolic syndrome.

metabolic syndrome in the aging populationMetabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and a variety of other health problems, such as stroke and diabetes.

Your risk for stroke, diabetes and heart disease increases with the number of metabolic risk factors you have. The risk of having metabolic syndrome is closely linked to overweight and obesity and a lack of physical activity.

Insulin resistance also may increase your risk for metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body can’t use its insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar into cells where it’s used for energy. Insulin resistance can lead to high blood sugar levels, and it’s closely linked to overweight and obesity. Genetics (ethnicity and family history) and older age are other factors that may play a role in causing metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic Risk Factors

The five conditions described below are metabolic risk factors. You can have any one of these risk factors by itself, but they tend to occur together. You must have at least three of the following metabolic risk factors to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

  • An  increased waistline. This also is called abdominal obesity. Excess fat in the stomach area is a greater risk factor for heart disease than excess fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips.
  • A high triglyceride level (or you’re on medicine to treat high triglycerides). Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood.
  • A low HDL cholesterol level (or you’re on medicine to treat low HDL cholesterol). HDL sometimes is called “good” cholesterol. This is because it helps remove cholesterol from your arteries. A low HDL cholesterol level raises your risk for heart disease.
  • High blood pressure (or you’re on medicine to treat high blood pressure). Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage your heart and lead to plaque buildup.
  • High fasting blood sugar (or you’re on medicine to treat high blood sugar). Mildly high blood sugar may be an early sign of diabetes.

For those that believe they may have undiagnosed metabolic syndrome, it is wise to speak with your healthcare provider.  You can work together to help to manage your health issues, allowing you to live a longer, more healthy life.

Taking care of a loved one who requires consistent care can be very difficult experience.  Of course, the role of caregiver is a very heart felt, nurturing and loving experience, but over time is can also be very wearing on the caregiver.

respite-care-sauk-prairieFor the caregiver, the requirements are great and can cause a great deal of stress, worry and a physical toll over time.  The caregiver often does not receive “a break” from their role, sacrificing much of their own freedom and lifestyle to care for their loved one instead.

The caregiver often places their needs behind that of their loved one for months or even years, which can create a very tenuous position.

Respite Care in Sauk Prairie

Fortunately, there is another option that can be utilized that can help everyone involved; the loved one, the family and the caregivers.

This option is called Respite Care and is a type of shorter term care that allows the caregiver to take time away from their caregiving responsibilities and also helps the loved one with other socialization and a loving and caring environment to be cared for.

The loved one can be cared for at a facility, like Maplewood of Sauk Prairie, for weeks or even months, until the time comes when their care can be taken over again.  They are cared for by a skilled staff that has significant experience in the area of elder care and/or memory care.

The Benefits of Respite Care for the Loved One

There are a variety of benefits that your loved one receives through respite care.

  • They can experience socialization with others who are like them
  • They receive unmatched health care services with professional staff
  • They can participate in activities to stimulate their body and mind
  • and many others

The Benefits of Respite Care for the Caregiver

The caregiver also experiences benefits from short term care of their loved one.

  • They can spend some time with their family and friends
  • They can have a chance to take a well deserved vacation
  • They can catch up on other things that need to get done (errands, projects, etc)
  • They know that their loved one is being well care for

There are times in life that caregivers may need a “break” from their caregiver responsibilities for a short period of time.

When the situation arises, the professionals at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie in Sauk City, Wisconsin are prepared to help you in this process.  Our respite care services allow us to take care of your loved one in the way you expect, for a specific duration of time.  This allows you to take some time off to “de-stress”, unwind, take a trip, complete a project…whatever it is that you need to do.

Should you want to learn more about our respite care program, call us today at 608-643-3383.



For many, the thought of requiring surgery is worrisome enough.  How much pain will there be after the surgery?  Will the surgery work?  How long will it take for me to recover?  Who will take care of me?

These, and many other questions ofter flow through your mind as the surgery date comes near.

Obviously, there are many types of surgeries that are offered, depending upon your situation.  Some of these surgeries require little downtime.  You are up and moving quickly and your normal routines aren’t far away.

For others, however, it isn’t that simple.

Those who require more aggressive type of surgeries or have complications with their surgery often take much longer to heal and may require longer term care.  The need for more family help or even a recovery facility may be essential.

An example of this would be someone who has just had a joint replacement surgery.  Today, it’s quite common for people to suffer from knee, hip or shoulder pain; causing them to require a replacement surgery.

Following this surgery, they may need a physical therapy team to work with their physician to allow them to fully recover from the joint replacement surgery that they just underwent.


Fortunately, for those in Sauk Prairie, WI and the surrounding communities, the therapy team at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie is available and ready to help.

The physical therapy staff has the ability to work with your medical team and treat you, using the most current and effective therapy procedures.

We’ll initially evaluate your initial health status and work with you to set goals that help you to make a full recovery after your surgery.

Each and every person is different.  Some patients who come to us are in very good health and are able to move quickly along through the recovery process.  Others, due to no fault of their own, may have some other health issues and take some extra time for recovery.

Each of these scenarios is ok.  We treat each and every person differently, based upon their own specific needs.

For those of you that are requiring an upcoming surgery, a visit to Maplewood of Sauk Prairie can answer many of the questions that you have.  You can see our physical therapy facility for yourself and speak with our therapists.

To speak with us directly or to schedule a time to tour, simply call us at 608-643-3383 today.


You get up from your chair and you feel the dizziness set in.  You wake up in the morning, raise your head off of your pillow, and feel like your spinning.  You turn your head quickly and you feel the imbalance in your body.

vertigo-treatmentMost of us take our balance for granted.  As long as our balance is good, we don’t even think about it.  But, the moment that we feel a little ‘off’; when we have some dizzy spells, our balance becomes a front and center issue.

Balance of the Body

Each and every one of us has mechanisms in our bodies that control our balance.  These various functions in our body must all work together to allow us to have proper balance as we walk, turn, move and function in our daily lives.

The Cerebellum

The cerebellum is a portion of your brain (in the back of your head) that helps to control your balance functions.

The Eyes

The eyes are a big part of your balance as they give feedback to the brain as to your position, experienced visually.

Your Proprioception

Each of us have ‘proprioceptors’ all over our bodies in our muscles and joints.  These receptors give feedback to our brains and tell us all of the positions of our body parts (even when our eyes are closed).

The Inner Ear

Deep within your ear are canals that help us with our balance.  The fluid and small ‘crystals’ that move within these canals provide feedback to our brain as to the position of our head.

These are some of the main balance mechanisms within our bodies.  It is important to understand that any problems that occur with any of these processes, can cause you to become dizzy or lose your balance.

What is Vertigo?

One specific type of dizziness is called vertigo.

Vertigo is episodes of dizziness and a feeling of spinning with certain head movements.  Vertigo is caused by an inner ear disturbance.  It can be often, but not always, cause by a virus.

Causes of Vertigo

Benign Positional Vertigo (BPV)

BPV occurs when tiny calcium particles (canaliths) move within canals of the inner ear. This movement of the calcium particles in the inner ear can send abnormal signals to the brain, causing the vertigo.

BPV can occur for no known reason and may be associated with age.

Meniere’s Disease

This is an inner ear disturbance that is thought to be caused by a buildup of fluid and changing pressure in the ear. It can cause episodes of vertigo along with ringing within the ears (tinnitus) and loss of hearing.


This is an inner ear problem usually related to infection (usually viral). The infection causes inflammation in the inner ear around nerves that are important for helping the body sense balance

Other cause of vertigo include migraine headaches, brain or neck injuries and certain medications.

Symptoms of Vertigo

Those individuals who experience vertigo often complain of symptoms including:

  • unbalanced feeling
  • spinning
  • swaying to one side
  • jerky eye movements
  • ringing in the ears

Treatment for Vertigo

There are a variety of treatments for vertigo, depending upon the cause.

One of the common treatments for vertigo and dizziness is a type of physical therapy call vestibular rehabilitation.  This is specific treatment for those who are suffering from inner ear disturbances and aims to strengthen the vestibular system.

Another treatment that is often used is a repositioning technique that helps to reposition the calcium particles within the inner ears.  This repositioning can resolve the specific vertigo issues.


Should you require physical therapy or treatment for dizziness disorders, feel free to contact us at 608-643-3383.