Not all persons who have Alzheimer’s disease are alike, making it difficult for both the family and doctors. Knowing the various signs or stages of the disease helps one to cope and offer the most effective help. There are seven stages of the disease, as follows:
Stage One has no signs. The disease is undetectable.
Stage Two is mild and can be considered as the normal forgetfulness of aging. It is hard for family and doctors to recognize Alzheimer’s at this stage.
Stage Three is when family and doctors spot the disease as loved ones begin forgetting words, have difficulty with planning and remembering. A memory test at this point would show decline. In this stage people often lose personal items.
Stage Four is the time when a person exhibits signs of Alzheimer’s and has problems with short-term memory. Remembering details about their lives or what they ate for breakfast is unclear.
Stage Five is the time a person needs help with daily activities, but typically a person can still dress, bathe and use the restroom on their own. Faces and names of loved ones are still remembered as well as details of their lives, especially from childhood. Confusion with dates, numbers and how to dress properly appear at this stage.
Stage Six is a time to consider getting full-time care, as persons in this stage usually need constant supervision. This stage has significant confusion. Some additional changes very likely occur with personality and behavior and there is often loss of bladder or bowel control. This is one of the saddest stages of Alzheimer’s as a person often begins to lose the ability to recognize friends and family.
Stage Seven of Alzheimer’s is death, as persons in this stage lose the ability to interact with their environment as well as the ability to communicate effectively. They have no insight on their condition or future and need help with all of their daily living activities. Many lose the ability to chew and swallow as they return to a childlike form.