Alzheimer’s disease tends to develops slowly and gradually worsens over several years. Although every person with Alzheimer’s disease experiences the disease differently, patients tend to experience a similar trajectory from the beginning of the illness to its merciful end. To help you understand this disease well, here we review the stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Stage 1: Normal Outward Behavior:
When your loved one is in this early phase, he won’t have any symptoms that you can spot. Memory problems or other symptoms of dementia are not evident during this stage. Only a PET scan, an imaging test that shows how the brain is working, can reveal whether he’s got Alzheimer’s.
Stage2: Very Mild Changes
During this stage, the person with Alzheimer’s disease may notice minor memory problems including forgetting a word or misplacing objects. The person will still do well on memory tests and the disease is unlikely to be detected by physicians or loved ones. At this stage, subtle symptoms of Alzheimer’s don’t interfere with his ability to work or live independently.
Keep in mind that these symptoms might not be Alzheimer’s at all, but simply normal changes from aging.
Stage 3: Mild Decline
It’s at this point that you start to notice changes in your loved one’s thinking and reasoning, such as:
• Forgets something he just read
• Asks the same question over and over
• Can’t remember names when meeting new people
Stage 4: Moderate Decline
During this period, the signs of Alzheimer’s disease get more obvious, and new issues appear. Patients with stage four Alzheimer’s disease:
• Forget details about himself
• Forget what month or season it is
• Have poor short term memory
Stage 5: Moderately Severe Decline
During the fifth stage of Alzheimer’s, patients begin to need help with many day to day activities. People in stage five of the disease may experience:
• Significant confusion
• Inability to recall simple details about themselves such as their own phone number
• Difficulty dressing appropriately
Stage 6: Severe Decline
As Alzheimer’s progresses, your loved one might recognize faces but forget names. He might also mistake a person for someone else, for instance, thinking his wife is his mother. You might need to help him go to the bathroom. It might be hard to talk, but you can still connect with him through the senses.
Stages 7: Very Severe Decline
In stage seven of the disease, patients lose the ability to respond to their environment or communicate. Many basic abilities in a person with Alzheimer’s, such as eating, walking, and sitting up, fade during this period.