Dementia-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, typically progress slowly and go unnoticed for a period of time. In many cases, the early signs of dementia are mistaken as the signs and symptoms of aging. After all, misplacing car keys or forgetting an old recipe should be no cause for concern, right?
Actually, this could be an early sign of dementia.
Here, we want to discuss the seven stages of dementia, as outlined by the Alzheimer’s Association. By listing these stages here, we hope that we can provide some insight if you think you or a loved one may be going through the early stages of dementia. It never hurts to seek medical assistance in these situations. When you get an official diagnosis of dementia, you can take the steps necessary to protect your loved ones and plan properly for the future.
Stage 1: No Impairment
During this stage, dementia and Alzheimer’s are not typically detectable, and there are no memory problems whatsoever.
Stage 2: Vey Mild Decline
During this stage, a senior may begin to notice minor memory problems. This can include losing things around the house or forgetting well-known memories. However, this type of memory loss cannot be easily distinguished from typical age-related memory loss.
Stage 3: Mild Decline
At this stage, family members and friends may begin to notice various cognitive problems. This can include poor performance on memory tests administered by a doctor. During this stage, a person may have trouble with the following:
- Finding the right words during conversations
- Planning and organizing
- Remembering names of new acquaintances
Stage 4: Moderate Decline
During this stage, the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s are fairly apparent. Individuals in this stage often:
- Have difficulty with simple math
- Have poor short term memory
- Have trouble managing their finances
- Regularly forget details about their life
Stage 5: Moderately Severe Decline
During this stage of dementia or Alzheimer’s, a person will need help handling their day-to-day activities. Those in this stage often experience:
- Difficulty dressing appropriately
- Significant confusion
- An inability to recall simple details about themselves
However, people in this stage can maintain a relatively high degree of functionality. They will often be able to bathe themselves and use the restroom independently. They will also still usually know their family members and various details about themselves and their life history.
Stage 6: Severe Decline
Individuals in stage six of dementia or Alzheimer’s will require constant supervision and likely professional care. Symptoms of the stage include the following:
- Unawareness or confusion about their environment and surroundings
- Inability to recognize faces except for their closest relatives or friends
- A loss of bladder or bowel control
- Inability to remember most of their personal history
- Major personality or behavioral changes
- Needing assistance with everyday activities
Stage 7: Very Severe Decline
The final stage of dementia and Alzheimer’s is the most severe. Because these diseases are terminal, people in this last stage are nearing death. In this stage, individuals may still be able to speak some words and phrases, but they will require assistance for all of their activities and daily living.
Unfortunately, elderly people with dementia are much more likely to become victims of abuse than older people without cognitive decline. If you suspect that your loved one has become a victim of abuse, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. An elder abuse lawyer will have the resources necessary to conduct a complete investigation into your case and help determine what happened. Additionally, an attorney will handle all communication with other parties involved in an attempt to gain a fair settlement for the elder abuse victim. This is about ensuring that an abused loved one receives both the compensation and the justice they are entitled to.