Understanding the Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

Perhaps the saddest aspect of caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease is the progressive nature of the condition. Alzheimer’s doesn’t just appear in an instant with easily recognizable characteristics; it starts with subtle symptoms and progresses over days, months and years, eventually rendering seniors unable to care for themselves. Thankfully, if you understand the stages of Alzheimer’s disease as part of your ability to provide excellent senior care Columbia, SC, you’ll be able to give your loved one the best possible life experience.

To help you care for your senior loved one here in The Midlands, we’ve compiled some information about the seven stages of Alzheimer’s here:

The Early Stages of Alzheimer’s (1-3)

In the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, symptoms may not even appear. Doctors may have the ability to look for biomarkers indicating risk, however, and they’ll be able to test for changes in memory and other cognitive functions.

Eventually, slight memory loss will become apparent, making normal functions of daily living somewhat more difficult.

During stage three, family members will likely begin to notice changes in memory, such as forgetting names, places and words in conversation. Seniors typically begin to have trouble planning and organizing during this stage, as well.

The Middle Stages (4-5)

In stage four of Alzheimer’s Disease, it becomes apparent to everyone who interacts with the patient that the condition is present.

Some of the characteristics of this particular stage include:

  • Loss of the ability to manage finances properly
  • Failing short-term memory
  • Difficulty recalling life details
  • Trouble performing even the most basic arithmetic

Stage five is characterized by a more severe decline in cognition and ability. During this stage, patients require daily assistance simply to remain safe, healthy and comfortable.

Characteristics of stage five include:

  • Difficulty dressing properly
  • Considerable confusion, even regarding simple concepts
  • An inability to remember details about themselves, such as their address or phone number

Although symptoms become more severe during stage five and patients typically require daily assistance, they can still function independently during normal activities such as bathing and using the toilet. Also, they continue to retain memories and recognition about close family members.

The Late Stages (6-7)

Stage six of Alzheimer’s is marked by a constant need for supervision and professional care.

Patients at this stage may wander, experience loss of bladder control, have severe difficulty with memory and exhibit behavioral changes. They also lose the ability to recognize faces, particularly those of people with whom they are not connected closely.

In stage seven, patients are nearing death. They are unable to communicate, even though they may utter the occasional word or phrase. They also require constant care.

For Help With Alzheimer’s Disease in Columbia, SC

Always Best Care allows family members of Alzheimer’s patients the opportunity to receive the perfect level of care during all stages of the disease. Our caregivers are well trained when it comes to dementia care, and our compassionate team of Alzheimer’s experts will help your loved one remain as comfortable and independent as possible. For more information, please call (847) 241-8374.