The stages of Alzheimer’s differ from person to person and may occur at various times. Alzheimer’s disease can last as long as 20 years, so the stages of the disease should be looked at. Knowledge of these stages can assist you in recognizing what to expect and how to provide essential, effective care for an Alzheimer’s disease sufferer.
Each of the stages of Alzheimer’s disease will bring about changes in everyday activities, behavior, mood, memory, and thinking. Many steps can be taken to manage the symptoms successfully and help the sufferer live a more meaningful life.
* Alzheimer’s & Functional Assessment
Dr. Reisberg and colleagues developed The Functional Assessment Staging (FAST) which divides the progression of Alzheimer’s disease into 7 major headings:
Stage of Alzheimer’s 1.
Stage one is described as a normal adult with no decline in function or memory.
Stage of Alzheimer’s 2.
This describes a normal older adult who is aware of their functional decline. You may notice they complain of memory loss and begin forgetting the names of family and friends. Sometimes this can be mistaken for a symptom of natural aging rather than the beginning of dementia.
Stage of Alzheimer’s 3.
This stage also involves the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The signs of the disease now become more noticeable. Anxiety often becomes a key feature as the individual becomes aware of their symptoms and their situation. Very often the person goes into denial at this stage.
The Alzheimers disease sufferer may begin getting lost whilst traveling to an unfamiliar area or if they are still in employment their colleagues may notice a lower performance in their work.
The difficulty in word-finding and remembering names of newly introduced people objects and places often becomes noticeable to those close to them. You may also notice they lose the ability to remember information from a recently read book. Misplacing or losing valuable objects is also very common along with the inability to concentrate effectively.
Stage of Alzheimer’s 4.
Stage four can be described as mild Alzheimer’s disease. The person now begins to need help with complicated tasks such as handling finances. You may notice they have problems remembering parts of their lives and events they have been to. Usually at this stage sufferers have trouble concentrating and traveling.
Again denial and lowering of their mood becomes key symptom. Often the person attempts to avoid dealing with challenging situations.
Stage of Alzheimer’s 5.
Stage five can be described as moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The sufferer cannot cope without assistance. They will require help choosing appropriate clothes to wear and there is now some disorientation in time. You may notice that when questioned, they will be unable to remember important information about their current lives although they can still recall significant information about themselves and their family.
Stage of Alzheimer’s 6.
Stage six is described as moderately severe Alzheimers disease. By this stage, the person starts to forget large amounts of knowledge about themselves and their surroundings. You may notice they forget the name of their spouses, or they may require assistance with dressing, bathing properly, and toileting. Often during this stage, urinary incontinence and disturbed sleeping patterns become noticeable.
Personality and emotional changes now become more obvious This may be in the form of obsessive behavior or delusional. You may notice acute anxiety and sometimes violence. Often, fecal incontinence begins.
Stage of Alzheimer’s 7.
Stage seven is known as severe Alzheimer’s disease and the person’s ability to speak properly becomes limited to approximately six or seven words. Intelligible vocabulary is often limited to a single word. The ability to walk, sit up, smile, and eventually even the ability to hold up their head also deteriorates and eventually is lost. The brain now appears to fail as it is now incapable of telling the body what to do.