Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with dementia? A dementia diagnosis can be frightening, but understanding the condition can give you the information you need to handle it well. What are the stages of dementia?
What Are the Stages of Dementia?
When it comes to age-related memory conditions, knowledge is power. Knowing what will happen and planning to deal with it can help you and your loved ones get the assistance you need. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, you know that it’s a diagnosis that can change your life. But how will it change your life, and how can you prepare for it? What are the stages of dementia?
Stage One: Pre-Dementia
In stage one of dementia, cognitive impairment is not evident. However, changes in the brain are still taking place. Dementia is not diagnosable at this stage.
Stage Two: Very Mild Cognitive Decline
In the second stage of dementia, symptoms mimic typical age-related forgetfulness. Seniors may forget things like people’s names or dates or mix up steps in their daily routine. However, in stage two, the condition is not significantly advanced enough to impact their life severely. Because there are so many different causes of age-related forgetfulness, most medical professionals will not assume these issues are caused by dementia until symptoms progress further.
Stage Three: Mild Cognitive Impairment
Stage three is the point where dementia becomes diagnosable for most seniors. Memory and cognitive issues will become more pronounced, thus recognizable to family and caretakers. Seniors with stage three dementia may struggle to live independently, and tasks like driving and doing chores may become increasingly challenging.
Stage Four: Moderate Cognitive Decline
In stage four of dementia, seniors will begin to exhibit personality changes and cognitive difficulties. They may become more withdrawn and easily frustrated as the condition negatively affects their problem-solving and language skills. Seniors in stage four of dementia typically need a caretaker’s assistance for tasks like doctor’s appointments.
Stage Five: Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline
Stage five of dementia is where seniors will need sustained support and supervision to navigate their day. Seniors in stage five usually require help with daily tasks like showers and preparing food. Memory loss is pronounced at this stage of the disease, as is disorientation and confusion.
Stage Six: Severe Cognitive Decline
Once a senior reaches stage six of dementia, they can no longer care for themselves independently in any capacity. Because their memory and cognitive abilities are severely eroded by dementia, they will need help with every aspect of self-care. Incontinence and insomnia are also increasingly common in stage six. At this stage, entering full-time care is advisable for someone with dementia if they have not done so already.
Stage Seven: Very Severe Cognitive Decline
In the final stage of dementia, verbal ability is lost, and movement becomes severely impaired. Bodily functions are also affected, and seniors at this stage may need assistance with chewing, swallowing, and breathing. For a senior in stage seven, 24/7 care from skilled professionals is advisable.
Dementia can feel intimidating, but our expert memory care staff is here to help you or your loved ones get the help you need. Give us a call if you have questions or concerns.
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