the stages of dementia
Health

Your Guide to the Stages of Dementia and How to Spot Them

Around 6 percent of people over 60 have some form of dementia. But, by the age of 85, around half of adults show symptoms of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common.

Rather than a disease in itself, dementia is a broad term that describes a loss of memory, cognitive functioning, attention, and other mental abilities. Dementia can take on various forms but most patients pass through various stages of dementia as their condition declines.

Keep reading to learn all about the stages of dementia and the signs to watch out for in your loved one.

Stage 1 – No Impairment

Most people only receive a dementia diagnosis after noticing early signs of cognitive impairment. But medical tests for dementia such as the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) or a neurological exam can reveal a problem before obvious symptoms begin to manifest.

Stage 2 – Very Mild Decline

At this second stage, there may be slight changes in the behavior or abilities of your loved one. That said, they will still be independent and enjoy almost the same quality of life as before the diagnosis.

Stage 3 – Mild Decline

You may notice more changes in your loved one’s ability to think and show reason. Making plans may become difficult for them and they may repeat themselves a lot. And, while memories from the past tend to remain intact, they might start to have trouble remembering recent events and changes.

Stage 4 – Moderate Decline

At this stage, the earlier signs of cognitive impairment you noticed in your loved one will now become more apparent. Making and remembering plans and appointments will become more difficult and they may find day-to-day tasks such as taking the bus or handling money to be challenging.

If you haven’t considered it already, this is a good time to find out more about Memory Care. Memory Care is a specialized service in senior living designed to address the unique challenges faced by older adults with dementia.

Stage 5 – Moderately Severe Decline

At this stage, your loved one may struggle to remember information such as their own phone number or the names of distant relatives. Confusion may also start to set in about the time of day or whether they’ve eaten yet. They will likely also start to need help with everyday tasks such as choosing clothes to wear and basic hygiene.

Stage 6 –  Severe Decline

As their dementia symptoms worsen, even significant information such as the name of their spouse may not come easily to your loved one. They’ll likely need assistance with eating and visiting the restroom. You may also begin to notice changes in their personality and ability to regulate emotions.

Stage 7 – Very Severe Decline

This final stage will see your loved one unable to speak their thoughts. As their condition worsens, they will likely spend most of their time in bed as walking and other activities become too difficult.

The Stages of Dementia

Although dementia does not affect everyone in the same way and the exact stages of dementia can vary, this quick guide shows some of the most common signs and symptoms to look out for in your loved one.

Want more informative insights like these? Be sure to check out our other blog posts for all the latest on everything from SEO strategies to oral hygiene practices!

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