The 7 Stages of Alzheimer’s disease & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is an incurable diseaseand as the disease progresses it gets worse every stage. Read on to know to understand how the disease develops according to the stages hence preparing you to care for your loved one better. Dr. Barry Reisberg of New York University has developed a system of that is commonly used and widely accepted even in the Alzheimer’s Association. It breaks down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease into seven stages.
Stage 1: No impairment is found
Alzheimer’s disease in this is stage is not detectable. As memory problems or other symptoms of dementia are not seen.
Stage 2: Normal forgetfulness
In this stage the individual may notice minor issues with their memory like losing things around the house. Although these small memory issues are quite similar to the ones others go though. It isnormal age related memory loss. The disease would still not be detectable here. And the person would be able to perform well on their memory tests.
Stage 3: Mild impairment with cognitive functioning
In this stage, as friends and family members of the individual you would start noticing some memory and cognitive issues. Individuals may not be able to perform well on their memory and cognitive tests. And the doctorwould be able to detect impaired cognitive functioning.
The individual in stage would have difficulty in areassuch as:
- planning and organizing
- remembering names of new people
- inability to relocate or find possessions
- remembering the right word during conversations
Stage 4: Mildimpairments of the illness
In stage of Alzheimer’s disease, one clear cut symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are observable. Their symptoms would include:
- May forget details about their lives
- Difficulty with simple arithmetic
- Short term memory loss (e.g. inability to remember what they ate for breakfast)
- Inability to pay bills or handle finances
Stage 5: Moderate impairments of the illness
In this stage of Alzheimer’s disease, the individual is unable to function well enoughandrequire help with many of their daily activities. They may experience:
- Inability to choose proper attire
- Being in a constant state of confusion
- Inability to remember basic or simple details about themselves like their name or their phone number
On the flip side, individuals in this stage are able to function effectively on tasks. Such as,
- They are still able to take a bath and go to the toilet independently.
- They also are able to remember their family members and certain details about themselves like their childhood and youth.
Stage 6: Severe impairments of the illness
Individuals in this stage require constant and sustained supervision either from a family member or from a care taker.They will also frequently require professional care. Some of their symptoms include:
- Considerable personality change
- Problems with behaviour
- Confusion about their surroundings and environment
- Inability to recognize faces and names with an exception of their close family and friends
- Inability to function well in their daily activities like bathing and toileting
- Inability to recall or remember most details about themselves
- Substantial decline or losing control of their bladder and bowel
Stages 7: Very severe impairments of the illness
This is the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease. The disease is a terminal illness, and most individuals in stage are old and are nearing death. During this stage,
- Individuallose their ability to responsive to theenvironment around them.
- They are unable to communicate, although they may be able to speak words and phrases, they can’t hold a conversation.
- They do not have insight about their condition and need assistance with respect to all activities of their daily living.
- During the final stages of this illness, individuals may also completely lose their ability to swallow.
Each day with an Alzheimer’s patient could be challenging. As a family member who is taking care of the patient you may experience both good and bad days. As the stages progresses the individual may lose their dignity and self respect, it is essential to care for your loved one and keep their dignity and self respect intact.