The 7 Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

a nurse assisting an elderly

The 7 Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

Every 4 seconds, someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s the most common cause of dementia, affecting over 40 million people worldwide. To the present day, no cure exists.

Alzheimer’s disease is a slow acting, fatal disease of the brain affecting one in ten people over the age of 65. No one is immune to this disease.

The progression, from mild forgetfulness to death, is slow and steady. The disease can span over an average of 8 to 10 years.

Alzheimer disease progresses in 7 stages.

The 7 Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

Stage 1: No Impairment

During this stage, Alzheimer’s disease is not detectable. Memory problems, nor are any other symptoms of dementia evident.

Stage 2: Very Mild Decline

The senior may notice minor memory problems, or lose things around the house. Although not to the point where the memory loss can be easily distinguished from normal age related memory loss. The senior will still do well on memory tests, and the disease is unlikely to be detected by physicians or loved ones.

Stage 3: Mild Cognitive Decline

At this stage, the friends and family members of the senior may begin to notice memory and cognitive problems. Performance on memory and cognitive tests are affected and physicians will be able to detect impaired cognitive function.

Stage 4: Moderate Cognitive Decline

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are apparent. Patients with stage four Alzheimer’s disease:

-Have difficulty with simple arithmetic like counting backwards.

-May forget details about their life histories.

-Have poor short term memory (may not recall what they ate for breakfast, for example).

-Inability to manage finance and pay bills.

Stage 5: Moderately Severe Decline

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.

On the other hand, patients in stage five maintain a modicum of functionality. They typically can still bath and toilet independently. They also usually still know their family members and some detail about their personal histories, especially their childhood and youth.

Stage 6: Severe Decline

Patients will need constant supervision and frequently require professional care. Symptoms include:

-Confusion or unawareness of environment and surroundings.

-Major personality changes and potential behavior problems.

-The need for assistance with activities of daily living such as toileting and bathing.

-Inability to recognize faces except closest friends and relatives.

-Inability to remember most details of personal history.

Loss of bowel and bladder control.


Stages 7: Very Severe Decline

The final stage of Alzheimer’s disease is stage seven of the disease. Patients lose ability to respond to their environment or communicate. While they may still be able to utter words and phrases, they have no insight into their condition and need assistance with all activities of daily living. In the final stages of the illness, patients may lose their ability to swallow.

No matter what stage of the Alzheimer disease that your loved one is in, here at Progressive Home Health & Hospice we are here to answer your questions and provide care to your loved ones with dignity and compassion.

Progressive Home Health Care in Wichita Ks is delivered by professional nurses (RN/LPN) under a physician’s order. Our care plans target the needs of each client with a strong emphasis on positive patient outcomes and goals. Our home health services can be needed following a hospitalization or when dealing with an acute or chronic illness that requires ongoing monitoring by a professional.

Call us at 316-691-5050 with any questions.

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