The Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

March 1, 2022

You can assist your Alzheimer’s-affected loved one by knowing more about the disease’s progression. The stages don’t always exactly fit into boxes, and the symptoms might differ, but they can serve as a reference and assist you in making plans for your friend or sibling’s care. The development of the illness is what doctors refer to these several stages. Because there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, recognizing what to expect might help you plan for your loved one’s requirements at each stage. There are no hard and fast distinctions between mild and moderate phases, but you should anticipate seeing changes like the ones listed below over time.

Stage 1: Typical Outward Expression

Alzheimer’s disease typically begins quietly, with brain abnormalities happening years before somebody recognizes anything is wrong. When your loved one is at this stage, you won’t be able to detect any signs. Only a PET scan, which is a type of imaging test that reveals how the brain works, can tell if they have Alzheimer’s or not.

Your Alzheimer’s friend or family will notice more and more changes in their thinking and reasoning as they progress through the next six phases.

Stage 2: Minor Changes

You may not note anything unusual about your loving one’s conduct, but they may detect small changes that even a doctor might overlook. This can involve things like forgetting words or misplacing items.

Stage 3: Mild Deterioration

You may observe changes in your loved one’s thinking and reasoning at this stage, such as:

  • Forgets what they’ve just read
  • Asks the same question again and over
  • Increasing difficulty planning or organizing.
  • When meeting new individuals, I have trouble remembering names.

You may assist by acting as your loved one’s “memory,” by ensuring that they pay their bills and attend appointments on time. You might also propose that they relieve tension by reducing their job hours and organizing their legal and financial issues.

Stage 4: Moderate Deterioration

Throughout this time, the thinking and decision-making flaws you identified in stage 3 become more evident, and new concerns emerge. A friend or family member might:

  • Forget about their personal information.
  • Have difficulties writing a check with the correct date and amount.
  • Have difficulties remembering what month or season it is, or simply ordering from a menu in a restaurant.
  • Struggle to make a phone call.
  • They are unable to comprehend what is being expressed to them.
  • They are unable to comprehend what is being expressed to them
  • Tasks that need numerous phases, such as cleaning the house, are difficult to do.

You can assist them with their daily tasks as well as their safety. Make certain they aren’t driving and make sure no one is attempting to take advantage of them financially.

Stage 5: Moderately Severe Decline

Your loved one may get disoriented as to where they are and what time it is. They can forget their home address, phone number, or where they went to school. Individuals can become perplexed as to what to dress for the day or season.

You may assist them by setting out their clothes for them first thing in the morning. This could support them in dressing independently and maintaining their sense of self-sufficiency.

If they ask the same question again, respond with a steady, comforting tone. They could be asking the question to know if you’re there than to receive an answer.

Even if your family loved one has lost their ability to recall facts and details, they may be able to tell a tale. At those moments, encourage them to utilize their imagination.

Stage 6: Severe Deterioration

Your loved one may recognize faces but forget names as Alzheimer’s develops. They may even misidentify someone as someone else, such as thinking their wife is their mother. Delusions may arise, such as the belief that they must go to work even though they do not have one. You may need to assist them in using the restroom.

Even though it’s difficult to communicate, you may still connect with someone through your senses. Many Alzheimer’s patients like listening to music, being read to, or looking through old photographs.

At this point, your loved one may be unable to:

Feed on their own
Swallow
Put on some clothes.

They could also have:
Loss of weight
Infections of the skin
Pneumonia
Having difficulty walking
Sleeping habits have shifted.

Stage 7: Severe Deterioration

During this time, a person with Alzheimer’s loses several fundamental abilities, such as eating, walking, and sitting up. You may assist your loved ones to continue to be involved by providing them soft, easy-to-swallow meals, teaching them how to use a spoon, and making sure they drink. This is critical since many people at this point can’t determine when they’re thirsty.
People with Alzheimer’s disease require a lot of assistance from caregivers at this stage. Oftentimes, families discover that, no matter how much they wish to, they are unable to care for their loved ones at home. If this describes you, consider a trustful nursing home, that offers expert care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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