The Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s was developed by Barry Reisberg, M.D.. Reisberg is a clinical director of the New York University of Medicine’s Aging and Dementia Research Center.
These seven stages make up a general guide to show the progression of Alzheimer’s. Each person responds differently to the onset of the disease, therefore making it difficult to place a person within one specific stage. Also, the symptoms may overlap.
First, Alzheimer’s begins before there is any evident impairment or memory problems. Dementia symptoms are not seen at this stage.
Next, the patient may experience mild cognitive decline. This can appear as normal age-related changes in addition to early signs of the disease.
Those around the patient may soon especially begin to notice memory issues. These may include:
- Trouble scheduling plans
- Remembering correct words or names
- Misplacing objects
Moderate cognitive decline and symptoms in line with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis are easily seen at this stage. Some may notice the following:
- Lapse of recent events
- Trouble remembering one’s personal history
- Difficulty doing complex tasks
- Becoming moody or withdrawn, in socially or mentally challenging situations
Soon after, patients may exhibit obvious gaps in memory and thinking. In addition, they may require assistance with some day-to-day activities, including:
- Stating the days of the week
- Recalling basic personal information; addresses and phone numbers
- Choosing proper clothing for the current weather or season
This stage marks the beginning of severe cognitive decline. Patients at this point require a great deal of assistance with daily tasks. Patients may:
- Lose sight of recent experiences and their surroundings
- Tend to wander or become lost
- Trouble remembering personal information
- Not be able to match a name to a familiar face
- Require help in the bathroom
- Have issues with bladder and bowel control
And finally comes the person’s inability to respond to their surroundings or carry on a conversation. In some cases, control of movement and motor functions disappear.
For help caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s, contact A Place at Home today.
- Alzheimer’s Association – The Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s