Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s will most likely go through progression of ‘the 7 stages.’ It is not uncommon for the symptoms to vary between patients; however, they normally will decline all the same. The 7 Stages are:
1. No Impairment
Individuals at this stage show no marked decline in their cognitive function. No memory problems show up on a regular basis.
2. Very Mild Impairment
Forgetfulness begins. The patient begins to forget names and small details, like where they put their glasses or if they took their medication that morning.
3. Mild Decline
At this point, family and friends begin to notice the symptoms. Losing things is more common and the patient might begin having performance issues at work.
4. Moderate Decline
The problems are now clear in a medical interview. The patient begins forgetting personal history, recent events, and how to handle complex tasks, such as planning dinner or paying bills. They could begin acting withdrawn or subdued in social situations.
5. Moderately Severe Decline
While the patient may remember their own name and the names of those important to them, they begin to forget basic information, such as the current date, time, or season. Day-to-day tasks like cooking may no longer be safe.
6. Severe Decline
The patient needs more help with basic activities like dressing and using the toilet. They might also experience behavioral changes, such as feeling suspicious or experiencing hallucinations. Someone at this stage might engage in repetitive behaviors or even wander away, only to become confused and lost.
7. Very Severe Decline
In this final stage, the patient may lose the ability to speak coherently. They may need help with general hygiene, and may eventually lose muscle coordination and the ability to control movement. Their muscles typically grow rigid, the reflexes become unpredictable, and eventually even swallowing could become impaired.
Adapted from Elder Care Link’s 7 Stages of Alzheimer’s