Alzheimer’s Disease is divided into 7 stages. The disease can be unpredictable but it basically follows this progression. The Alzheimer’s stages are general and the stages may overlap during the progression of the disease.
There are 7 stages to Alzheimer’s disease:
Stage 1: no impairment (early stage)
Stage 2: Very mild decline (early stage)
Stage 3: Mild decline (mild to mid-stage)
Stage 4: Moderate decline (mild to mid-stage)
Stage 5: Moderately to severe decine (moderate or mid-stage)
Stage 6: Severe decline (moderately severe or mid-stage)
Stage 7: Very severe decline (severe or late stage)
In Alzheimer’s stages 1-2, a person can experience short term memory lapses and concentration begins to falter. The person can become emotional or erratic when changes occur in their lives or daily habits. Speech can become impaired in some individuals. The person is still able to function independently, but daily tasks take longer to accomplish and daily hygiene may suffer. At this stage, the person understands what is going on , and it is important to discuss the changes while they are aware.
In Alzheimer’s Stages 3-4, symptoms become more apparent. Disorientation becomes more common, and even simple decision making becomes overwhelming. The ability to process new information becomes more diminished, and even simple math problems are difficult. Accidents occur frequently because coordination is poor. The person has tremendous difficulty recalling past personal history and short term memory loss is even more pronounced.
In Alzheimer’s Stages 5-6, symptoms are much more pronounced. The person is no longer able to take care of themself. They can still perform basic tasks, but cannot remember why they are doing it. Supervision is needed for all basic tasks, including getting dressed, eating, and using the bathroom. The person cannot recall their surroundings and memory loss is severe. Personality changes including anger issues are commonplace for persons in mid to late stage Alzheimer’s. The person must be monitored at all times because they may wander or even get lost in their own homes.
Alzheimer’s Stage 7 can last from one to five years, and is usually spent in a total care facility. The person loses all ability to speak coherently, and may be no longer able to control movements. Episodes of delusions and paranioa occur frequently and may even become violent. Eventually, the person no longer can get out of bed . Death usually occurs from complications such as pneumonia,urinary tract or lung infection, malnutrition or dehydration.
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