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How Many Levels Of Dementia Are There

Confused About Where They Are

What are the stages of dementia?

Dementia can make it hard for people to remember where they are. One minute they could be shopping at the grocery store, and the next they could be completely disoriented at why they arent at home.

They also might become confused about how they got there. They might not remember even if they drove themselves.

Stage : Very Mild Cognitive Decline

Stage 2 can vary between typical age-related memory problems that most seniors face, such as forgetting specific dates or slower recall of a name or word. Or this stage could include some of the beginning signs of dementia that are often not obvious to doctors and loved ones. Some of the side effects that correspond with stage 2 include:

  • Forgetting everyday phrases or names
  • Forgetting the location of important objects

Who Can Diagnose Dementia

Visiting a primary care doctor is often the first step for people who are experiencing changes in thinking, movement, or behavior. However, neurologists doctors who specialize in disorders of the brain and nervous system are often consulted to diagnose dementia. Geriatric psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, and geriatricians may also be able to diagnose dementia. Your doctor can help you find a specialist.

If a specialist cannot be found in your community, contact the nearest medical school neurology department for a referral. A medical school hospital also may have a dementia clinic that provides expert evaluation. You can also visit the Alzheimers Disease Research Centers directory to see if there is an NIA-funded center near you. These centers can help with obtaining a diagnosis and medical management of conditions.

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Stage : Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline

Stage 5 is when your loved one is likely to need help with routine tasks, like dressing or bathing. They may require a home caregiver or to move to a memory care community. Other symptoms include:

  • Confusion/forgetfulness
  • Memory loss of personal details and current events
  • Reduced mental acuity and problem-solving ability

Caregiving In The Middle Stages

Dementia 101: Symptoms, Types, Stages, Treatment and ...

According to the Alzheimers Association, this can be the most prolonged period you will face as a caregiver. The symptoms associated with the middle stage can continue for most of your loved ones later years. During this time, you will need to learn to develop patience, flexibility, and understanding as their day-to-day functions become more difficult to achieve. Your loved one might need assistance with ADLs, act out in strange ways, or grow frustrated and angry with you, which can be stressful. Be sure to take care of yourself and reach out to family, friends, and other support services to make this transition smoother.

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How Is Dementia Treated

Treatment of dementia depends on its cause. For example, dementia that has developed due to vitamin deficiency can be treated with vitamin supplements and hence is reversible. Other causes of dementia such as depression, thyroid problems can also be treated.

For progressive dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease, no treatment can halt its progression, and research is still going on to find out the same. But, some medications may temporarily help relieve its symptoms such as memory loss and confusion. These are:

How Quickly Does Dementia Progress

The progression of dementia in your loved one is as individual as the person who has it. There is no specific roadmap or timeline to transition through the seven stages. But all types of dementia are progressive and damaging over time. Several factors can affect the rate of progression these include:

  • Age

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Early Middle And Late

Many people dont know that dementia is actually a syndrome, rather than a disease, where a persons cognitive tasks, memory, and reason begin to decline. While dementia can occur as an umbrella symptom to several conditions, Alzheimers is the most common and well known of those.

Alzheimers is often divided into three stages: early, middle, and late. These three stages provide an overall idea of how an individuals abilities may change once symptoms appear.

What Are The Final Stages Of Dementia

What are the different stages of dementia? The 3 stage and 7 stage models explained

As seniors progress to late stage dementia, full-time care may become necessary, whether you choose memory care or professional dementia care at home. The symptoms of the final stages of Alzheimers include behavioral and personality changes, inability to perform ADLs, and severe cognitive decline.

Dementia stage 6: severe cognitive decline

Stage 6 marks a need for caregiver help to perform basic daily activities such as dressing, eating, using the toilet, and other self-care. Seniors with late stage dementia may have difficulty regulating sleep, interacting with others, or behaving appropriately in public settings.

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Caregiving During The Early Stages

During the early stages of dementia, patients typically experience very mild symptoms. Because most people continue to function independently, the symptoms may not even be noticeable in the very beginning.

As dementia progresses through the early stages, patients likely experience:

  • Mild forgetfulness

  • Difficulty staying on task and focusing

As a caregiver, you can simply provide support and companionship. You might also consider beginning to make plans for the future as the disease progresses.

Stages Of Dementia And Its Progression

Loss of cognitive functioning i.e. thinking, reasoning, and remembering and other behavioral activities in such a way that it affects the persons daily activities is known as dementia. In many cases, dementia is irreversible and incurable. Early diagnosis can manage the progression of the disease by slowing it down. The progression of dementia is different in different people , and it also depends on the underlying cause.

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Stage : Severe Cognitive Decline

Individuals in stage 6 often need extensive assistance to carry out their ADLs. In this stage, they may start to forget the names of close family members and have little memory of recent events. Typically, people in stage 6 can remember few details of their earlier life as well.

Other noticeable changes include physical and emotional challenges. Emotional changes are common during this stage and can sometimes include delusions, compulsions, anxiety, and agitation.

How Long Do The 7 Stages Of Dementia Last

Dementia 101: Symptoms, Types, Stages &  Prevention

If youre wondering how long do the 7 stages of dementia last?, there is no clear-cut answer.

The beginning stages are difficult to identify for the average person, so that makes it harder to pinpoint an expected duration of these stages.

However, once early dementia hits, patients tend to stay in each stage for about two years before progressing to the next one.

Some stages can last a little longer while others might be a bit shorter .

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How To Identify The 7 Stages Of Dementia

Dementia is a general term that encompasses different types of disorders, including Alzheimers disease, dementia with Lewy Bodies, frontotemporal dementia and others. While each type of dementia progresses differently, there are two general diagnostic models used to describe the progression of dementia: the three-stage model and the seven-stage model. With the latter, the decline of a patient is separated into more specific stages than the earlier. The seven-stage model is based off of the Global Deterioration Scale, an assessment tool created by Dr. Barry Reisberg to assist friends, family and caregivers with recognizing the clinical signs of the disease.

Prior to assessment, caregivers look at different behaviors demonstrated by the individual. Not only is memory assessed, but the persons judgment, sense of direction, personal care and daily activities are considered as well. Based on the severity of the dementia, a care plan can be devised by a physician and the individuals caregivers. In the earlier stages of dementia, an individual will still have independence and be able to perform many activities without assistance. When entering the later stages of dementia, the individual will need around-the-clock assistance for most daily activities.

The following is a summary of the seven stages of dementia, according to the model created by Dr. Reisberg:

What Are The 7 Stages Of Dementia

Dementia does not affect every person in the same way. It presents itself differently in each individual and progresses at different rates. Some people will stay in a state of mild decline for an extended period, while others may develop multiple symptoms quickly. Understanding the seven stages of dementia can make these transitions a little easier for your loved one and you as their caregiver.

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Difficulty Speaking And Maintaining Conversations

People with dementia can have trouble remembering the right word for things. They may struggle with their vocabulary, which can make it difficult understanding what they mean.

Youll also notice that theyll repeat themselves or lose their train of thought during conversations. Because of this, many people dont speak as often or wont try and join in conversations.

Its also hard for people with dementia to understand how to join in on others conversations, since they cant follow the topic easily or understand what people are saying.

Stage : Early Stage Moderate Vascular Dementia

What Are the Stages of Dementia?

This is also one of the most important vascular dementia stages that everyone should not look down but watch out carefully for good! This stage is the only one wherein the signs and symptoms are clear for the first time. This is because the condition has advanced to the 4th stage and is very clear and evident. People suffering from vascular dementia in this stage tend to stay away from their family and friends. They find it hard to frame sentences and maintain a conversation.

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This stage will last for 2-3 years before everything gets more serious if there is no treatment. The most effective way to treat this condition is to stimulate the individual who are suffering from this disorder to join a community workshop. At this place, he or she will be instructed to play games, which have effect on sharpening the motor and memory skills. In this stage, individual will be diagnosed with moderate vascular dementia.

This is actually also one out of the vascular dementia stages that a lot of people in the world have been diagnosed and have been trying to minimize the damages.

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Stage : Second Last Stage Middle Vascular Dementia

Individuals in this severe stage begin to lose memory and usually recollect things happened and things they did in their past. They become more delusional and even cannot remember close friends and family members names. Some bodily changes also turn up including incontinence, difficulty with muscle and motor functions and difficulty with controlling bladder flow. They need assistance to do daily activities and finish tasks. These signs and symptoms are enough to diagnose middle vascular dementia.

Weight loss: Almost all of the people with vascular dementia lose weight in the later stages of this disorder, although sometimes some people eat so much and put on weight. In fact, weight loss can affect their immune system, making the people fight infections more difficultly. It can also increase the possibility of falling. Ensure that they consume enough food and water. They can need encouragement with drinking and eating. Besides, problems with swallowing and chewing are common as their muscles no longer work properly.

Problems with continence: Many people cannot control their bladder and bowels. This can occur most or all of the time.

This is also a stage one on the list of vascular dementia stages that people should not miss out but consider changing their lifestyles to prevent themselves from getting this disorder.

How Can The Fast Scale Help Determine What Type Of Dementia My Loved One Has

One interesting thing about the FAST Scale is that, if the individual has Alzheimers disease, any changes they experience will be in sequence that is, FAST stages wont be skipped over. If the individual loses certain abilities listed at a later stage but still retain abilities from an earlier stage . This is incredibly helpful, because it means their situation can potentially be treatable.

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Stages And Progression Of Lewy Body Dementia

Claudia Chaves, MD, is board-certified in cerebrovascular disease and neurology with a subspecialty certification in vascular neurology. She is an associate professor of neurology at Tufts Medical School and medical director of the Lahey Clinic Multiple Sclerosis Center in Lexington, Massachusetts.

If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia , you might be wondering what to expect as the disease progresses.

Like with Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia is marked by early, middle, and later stages. It’s what happens during these stages that makes the two different.

This article explains the stages and progression of Lewy body dementia as it proceeds through three stages.

Caregiving In The Early Stages

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Although most of your loved ones immediate medical needs can be managed on their own in the early stages, you may need to assist with tasks associated with memory or problem-solving. You may need to remind them of their doctors appointments and to set up the next appointment, along with taking their medications on time and getting refills as needed. You may need to assist them in managing their finances and keeping up with social and work obligations. At times, they may also need help remembering places, people, words, and names. In the early stages, you will want to encourage them to:

  • Maintain their independence
  • Establish a routine to delay the disease from worsening

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Duration Of Stages: How Long Do The Stage Of Alzheimers / Dementia Last

No two people with dementia experience the disease exactly the same way, and the rate of progression will vary by person and type of dementia. In addition, it is not uncommon for individuals to have mixed dementia, meaning they have more than one type. That said, there is a natural course of the disease, and over time the capabilities of all persons with dementia will worsen. Eventually, the ability to function goes away. Keep in mind that changes in the brain from dementia begin years before diagnosis, when there are no outward symptoms. This makes it difficult to know how much time a person has left, though there are ways to come close to knowing life expectancy.

Life Expectancy by Dementia Type
Dementia Type
2 to 8 years following pronounced symptoms

Mild DementiaIn this early stage of dementia, an individual can function rather independently, and often is still able to drive and maintain a social life. Symptoms may be attributed to the normal process of aging. There might be slight lapses in memory, such as misplacing eyeglasses or having difficulty finding the right word. Other difficulties may include issues with planning, organizing, concentrating on tasks, or accomplishing tasks at work. This early stage of dementia, on average, lasts between 2 and 4 years.

Stage : Mild Dementia

At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood. Denial of symptoms as a defense mechanism is commonly seen in stage 4. Behaviors to look for include:

  • Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty recognizing faces and people

In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations. However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress or anxiety.

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How Are The Stages Of Dementia Measured

The stages of dementia can be measured using a few different scales as previously mentioned.

Global Deterioration Scale for Assessment of Primary Degenerative Dementia : GDS is the most commonly used scale to measure dementia. Although it can successfully measure different forms of dementia, it is most accurate for Alzheimers disease.

The GDS, or Reisberg Scale, uses seven stages based on cognitive decline to help navigate a patient as they move through the different stages of dementia.

Functional Assessment Staging Test : A seven-stage scale that focuses more on a patients functioning and ability to perform daily tasks rather than their cognitive decline.

A patient could be at different stages using both the GDS and FAST scales.

Clinical Dementia Rating : CDR is a 5-point system that measures both cognitive ability and daily functionality.

This system evaluates 6 different areas

  • Memory

  • Caregiving During The Late Stages

    Chapter 3: The different types of dementia

    As patients continue to lose both cognitive and functional abilities in the later stages of dementia, they inevitably become less active. Because they are less active, they require less food and might not have an appetite or might simply forget to eat.

    As a caregiver, it is important to make sure the patient is eating healthy and nourishing foods. If necessary, adapt foods to make it easier for the patient to swallow and digest.

    Caregivers should also continue to provide comfort, love, support, and companionship as necessary.

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    Stage : Moderate Cognitive Declinemild Dementia

    The diagnosis of Alzheimers disease can be made with considerable accuracy in this stage. The most common functioning deficit in these persons is a decreased ability to manage instrumental activities of daily life, which may hinder their ability to live independently. For the stage 4 person, this may become evident in the form of difficulties in paying rent and other bills, not being able to write out checks with the correct date or amount without assistance the inability to market for personal items and groceries or order from a menu in a restaurant. Persons who previously prepared meals for family members and/or guests begin to manifest decreased performance in these skills.

    Symptoms of memory loss also become evident in this stage. For example, seemingly major recent events, such as a holiday or visit with a relative may not be remembered. Obvious mistakes in remembering the day of the week, month or season of the year may occur.

    Persons at this stage can still generally recall their correct current address they can usually correctly remember the weather conditions outside. Significant current events, including the name of a prominent head of state, will likely be recalled easily. Despite the obvious deficits in cognition, persons at this stage can still potentially survive independently in community settings.


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