What are the stages of Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer's

If you’re not familiar, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive impairments that seriously interfere with daily life. It affects millions of people all over the world, most of whom are aged 65 and older. The disease starts slowly and gets worse over time, affecting a person’s ability to think, remember, and communicate. The progressive nature of Alzheimer’s means that the disease occurs in stages, each with unique symptoms that you should be aware of. Fortunately, there are resources that can help. If you’re in need of information, keep reading to find out more about the stages of Alzheimer’s.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with dementia, one of your first priorities should be learning about the different stages of the disease. If you need more details about a specific stage, a quick search for something like “stage 6 Alzheimer” can assist you in providing more information. If you don’t know much about the basic stages of Alzheimer’s, we can go over the basic details here. For those who are unaware, these are the seven stages of Alzheimer’s disease:

  1. No Dementia Seen. In this stage, the symptoms of dementia have not yet begun and there aren’t objective measures of a decline in abilities.
  2. Subjective Memory Loss. Difficulties related to functional memory can emerge, which are similar to age-related forgetfulness. They may not remember names as easily or could forget where they recently placed things.
  3. Mild Cognitive Impairment. The deficits that manifest at this stage can be subtle, but they will likely be noticed by people who spend a lot of time with the individual. Executive function can worsen and they often repeat questions.
  4. Mild Cognitive Decline. Generally, this is the stage where a definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be made. Performing daily activities can be a challenge and an individual’s ability to live independently may begin to wane.
  5. Moderately Severe Decline. Independent living is usually impossible at this point. The primary symptom at this stage is an inability to perform the basic activities of daily life.
  6. Moderately Severe Dementia. Basic functional abilities are compromised. This stage is divided into five separate substages as the disease progresses.
  7. Severe Dementia. This is the final stage, where patients require continuous assistance to maintain their survival. Neurological and physical changes will continue to become more severe.
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In the final stage of the disease, individuals become completely dependent on others for basic needs such as bathing and eating. Although there is no cure for AD, treatments are available that can improve the quality of life for those living with the disease.

 How can you support a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease?

Now that you know more about Alzheimer’s, let’s discuss what you can do to support a loved one with the disease. There are many home modifications that can be beneficial for people living with Alzheimer’s disease This includes removing tripping hazards, installing grab bars in the bathroom, and using non-skid mats in the bathtub and shower. It is also critical to make sure that the home is clutter-free. Clutter can be confusing and dangerous for people with Alzheimer’s disease. All unnecessary items should be removed.

You should stay connected to your relative as much as possible too. The truth is that socialization is one of the most integral aspects of life, regardless of age. For those with Alzheimer’s disease, socialization can be even more important, as it can keep their mind active and engaged. Try to keep your conversations positive, upbeat, and interesting. Your loved one may not be able to communicate verbally, but they may still be able to communicate through their actions. Pay close attention to their body language and facial expressions.

As you can see, there is a lot to learn about Alzheimer’s disease. Understanding the stages of Alzheimer’s will ensure that you’re better prepared to identify the early warning signs in yourself or a loved one. You will also be able to provide better care for anyone in your life who receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. While it can be scary to hear that someone you care about has Alzheimer’s disease, there are things you can do to help. Investing in home modifications can improve safety at home. Socialization is required as well, so try to talk to them as much as you can. Follow this advice so you can be ready for Alzheimer’s if someone in your life is affected.

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