Knowing about Alzheimer’s stages can help the caregivers plan for and cope with the disease better. The following is based on Dr. Reisberg’s study which divides the disease into seven stages.
Stage 1: This is when no symptom of the disease is manifest and full mental and physical functions are retained.
Stage 2: At this stage, there is some loss of memory and the person may forget names of friends and family at times.
Stage 3: This is still an early stage of the disease, but the symptoms are more noticeable now.
The person becomes more anxious. They get lost quite easily in unfamiliar territory. Misplacing objects is quite common at this stage. Their ability to remember recently acquired information deteriorates.
Stage 4: At this stage, the person can’t perform complex tasks on his own.
The ability to concentrate deteriorates further and so does memory. They may not be able to remember some events in their lives. Mood swings are common.
Stage 5: Now the patients will need assistance in ordinary tasks like picking appropriate clothes to wear.
Their sense of time begins to deteriorate as well.
Stage 6: This is a moderate to severe stage of Alzheimer’s disease.
They definitely need help to cope with routine activities like bathing, dressing, etc. Incontinence may set in at this stage. Their sleep patterns may be disturbed.
Their personality will likely undergo a complete change. They may become violent or exhibit obsessive behaviour.
Stage 7: This is severe Alzheimer’s disease.
These stages of Alzheimer’s disease may occur differently in various individuals. What is described above is a composite picture that can help to understand how a person’s faculties diminish with the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.
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