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Alzheimers Disease Stages

QUESTION: What are the Alzheimers disease stages?


Alzheimer’s disease stages are characterized by people who exhibit symptoms in seven different stages, and each stage is progressively worse until the ultimate end of life within the seventh and final stage. In a list below, each of the seven stages are explained more thoroughly. But there are some symptoms of Alzheimer’s that are easily confused with actions normal to aging people.

Before you conclude that your loved-one has Alzheimer’s, remember that some forgetfulness and moodiness is normal for people of all ages.

Here is a list of some things that people do as part of the normal aging process:
  • Temporarily misplacing keys or other household items but locating them later
  • Forgetting appointments or names, but remembering them later
  • Not remembering how to perform a certain task
  • Searching for a word occasionally, but remembering it later
  • Forgetting the date or day of the week
  • Making normal mistakes in judgment
  • Having problems with more complex math problems due to intellectual capabilities
  • Experiencing normal mood swings of sadness happiness or irritability
  • Occasionally not wanting to do housework, go to work, or perform social obligations.
If you or your loved one show symptoms beyond those normal to people who are aging, perhaps it’s time to seek professional guidance. A healthcare professional will be more able to diagnose which stage, if any, of Alzheimer’s a person is in. Below is a list of the symptoms manifested in each of the seven Alzheimer’s disease stages:
  1. There is no impairment, and the patient is considered to be functioning in a normal manner when the patient is asked questions in a medical interview by a health care professional.

  2. Individual begins to have memory lapses, forgetting familiar words or the location of objects, yet, these symptoms are not evident during a medical examination or apparent to loved ones.

  3. There are problems with memory or concentration in word- or name-finding. The individual cannot remember names when introduced to new people. Performance issues become apparent in social or work settings or while reading a passage, the individual retains little material. The inability to plan or organize becomes evident.

  4. The progression is considered mild, but during an interview, there is detected decreased knowledge of recent occasions or current events and a reduced memory of personal history. The patient may become withdrawn especially in socially or mentally-challenging situations;

  5. This is considered the mid-stage level where there are major gaps in memory and reasoning, and some assistance is needed with day-to-day activities. The patient may not be able to recall her current address, telephone number, or the name of the school from which she graduated; there may be confusion about the date, day of the week, or season. The patient has trouble with math and needs help in choosing the correct clothing for the proper season.

  6. This stage is considered severe or mid-stage. Memory difficulties continue to worsen and significant personality changes may emerge. He may lose awareness of recent experiences and events as well as of his surroundings; recollection of his personal history becomes imperfect, but the patient may know his name. The patient may occasionally forget the name of his spouse or primary caregiver, but can distinguish familiar from unfamiliar faces. He may need help getting dressed properly. He may experience disruption of his normal sleep/waking cycle, need help with handling details of toileting, have increasing episodes of urinary or fecal incontinence, experience significant personality changes and behavioral symptoms, and tend to wander and get lost.

  7. This is the last stage of the Alzheimer’s disease stages where patients lose their capacity for recognizable speech. They may need help eating and toileting, and may lose the ability to walk without assistance, smile or hold their head up. Reflexes become abnormal and muscles grow rigid. Swallowing is impaired.
Whether your loved one is showing normal signs of aging or displaying several advanced symptoms of Alzheimer’s, please remember that we serve a God who can give us rest from our burdens. He doesn’t always take those burdens from us, but we can stand on His promises that He does all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

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