The Stages Of Dementia

stages of dementia

The Stages Of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease is a subset of dementia that can last for more than a decade before the patient ever experiences symptoms. It’s a difficult condition to live with, attacking the brain first and affecting everything from personality and memory to, eventually, the ability to fight off infections.

It’s not like it’s a well kept secret, either. There are an estimated 5.7 million people living with Alzheimer’s dementia in the United States alone, as of 2018. That’s a lot of families and individuals learning to cope with the burden of this tragic disease.

Which is exactly why, today, Granny Nannies is bringing you our official rundown of the three chief stages of dementia – specifically, Alzheimer’s disease.

Stages and Progression

The Alzheimer’s scale illustrates the progression of this disease from beginning to end, and is a handy metric to measure your loved ones against as they cope with their own dementia.

Mild

The early stages of alzheimer’s disease are considered mild, with patients experiencing new challenges but largely being able to fend for themselves. They may become forgetful or tend to fidget more, but it’s more common that they can function completely as normal.

Symptoms at this stage typically include:

  • Misplacing important items
  • Mild issues with spoken language
  • Problem solving issues
  • Losing complete track of the time or date
  • Impaired judgment

Moderate

In the moderate stages of dementia, patients can live with their condition for many years at a time. During this period, it’s common to see changes in your loved ones’ personality as their condition progresses. They may also experience lowered physical ability, and their mental state may also deteriorate to some extent.

During this phase, the most important thing to keep in mind is your loved one may need assistance with their day-to-day living for safety and hygiene purposes.

Symptoms at this stage typically include:

  • Inability to retain new information
  • Forgetting names or personal or significant milestones
  • Trouble recognizing people who should be instantly recognizable
  • Impulse control problems, such as undressing or cursing at inappropriate times
  • Delusions or mild hallucinations

Severe

This is the late stage form of this disease, and the effects at this point will be much more pronounced than before. They’re also much more physical, having less to do with dementia and more to do with their ability to cope with sickness and infection. Communication will become difficult if not impossible for some patients, and they are likely to require extensive care in order to live their daily lives.

Symptoms at this stage typically include:

  • Seizures and weight loss
  • Longer periods spent sleeping
  • Higher risk of infections, skin infections and pneumonia
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Inability to recognize family and friends

The Stages of Dementia

Alzheimer’s and dementia are some of the most difficult changes we can face, in our own lives and the lives of those around us. It’s not just the challenge of living your life with an impaired memory or “face blindness”. It’s seeing the ones you love go through this process, and having to be there for them regardless.

Hopefully, with our article on the stages of dementia, you’ll be more prepared for when Alzheimer’s and dementia affect your family. To learn more about how in-home caregiving can help you and your loved ones live through the process of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, visit Granny Nannies today!