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Understanding the 7 Stages of Alzheimer’s

By Nick Paciello, 9:00 am on

Every senior with Alzheimer’s disease experiences it differently. However, there are still many similarities throughout the stages of the disease. Supporting a loved one with Alzheimer’s symptoms can become easier once you understand how the condition unfolds. Here is an overview of the 7 stages of Alzheimer’s disease, brought to you by the senior care experts at Home Care Assistance of Henderson.

Stage 1: No Impairment

At this point, the disease is not yet detectable and no obvious symptoms are present, which makes it difficult to know if your loved one even has the disease. Only a PET scan can reveal the presence of Alzheimer’s in this initial stage.

Stage 2: Very Mild Changes

Your loved one might be experiencing minor memory issues undistinguished from normal age-related memory loss. Memory tests may be easily passed, and a physician or family members still may not be able to detect the disease at this point.

Stage 3: Mild Decline

You may start noticing changes in your loved one’s reasoning and thinking. Physicians can also detect impaired cognitive function. Your loved one may experience difficulty remembering names of new friends or something he or she just read, planning and organizing, or finding the right words to say during conversations.

Stage 4: Moderate Decline

The symptoms noticed in stage 3 may become much more distinct, and new ones may also appear. Your loved one might forget seemingly obvious things such as personal details or today’s date.

Stage 5: Moderately Severe Decline

Your loved one may now require more help with his or her daily activities. While simple tasks such as bathing are likely still manageable, he or she may experience significant confusion, trouble dressing properly, or an inability to remember simple details such as his or her phone number.

Stage 6: Severe Decline

In this stage, your loved one may require frequent supervision and professional care. He or she may experience loss of bladder and bowel control, difficulty recognizing faces, especially those of close relatives and friends, and a need for assistance with simple tasks such as visiting the washroom. Communication through the senses can be helpful during this stage, as many seniors with Alzheimer’s love looking at photos, being read to, and listening to music.

Stage 7: Very Severe

During this last stage, your loved one may lose the ability to communicate and respond to his or her environment. He or she might still utter some words but have no insight to the Alzheimer’s symptoms. You may need to help your loved one with many daily activities, such as feeding and grooming.

Though Alzheimer’s disease may be difficult to pinpoint in the early stages, taking proactive measures to slow its potential progression can benefit your loved one in the long run. If your loved one is experiencing Alzheimer’s symptoms, a professional caregiver can help him or her with tasks around the house. For information onAlzheimer’s care in Henderson, reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our caregivers are trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program that specifically helps slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Call one of our qualified Care Managers today at (702) 527-7723 to schedule a free in-home consultation.