Stage : Moderate Decline
During this period, the problems in thinking and reasoning that you noticed in stage 3 get more obvious, and new issues appear. Your friend or family member might:
- Forget details about themselves
- Have trouble putting the right date and amount on a check
- Forget what month or season it is
- Have trouble cooking meals or even ordering from a menu
- Struggle to use the telephone
- Not understand what is said to them
- Struggle to do tasks with multiple steps like cleaning the house.
You can help with everyday chores and their safety. Make sure they aren’t driving anymore, and that no one tries to take advantage of them financially.
How To Spot Early Indicators That Your Loved One May Have Alzheimers Or Dementia
by Patrick J. Kiger, AARP, Updated May 4, 2021| 0
En español | From age 50 on, its not unusual to have occasional trouble finding the right word or remembering where you put things.
But persistent difficulty with memory, cognition and ability to perform everyday tasks might be signs that something more serious is happening to a loved ones brain.
Dementia isnt actually a disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. Its a catch-all term for changes in the brain that cause a loss of functioning that interferes with daily life. Dementia can diminish focus, the ability to pay attention, language skills, problem-solving and visual perception. It also can make it difficult for a person to control his or her emotions and lead to personality changes.
More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s dementia, according to a 2021 report by the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia, accounting for 60 percent to 70 percent of cases, but a range of brain illnesses can lead to the condition .
Diseases that cause dementia
These conditions are the leading causes of dementia. Many patients have mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types, such as Alzheimers and vascular dementia.
Vascular dementia. The second most common type of dementia is caused from damage to the vessels that supply blood to the brain. It tends to affect focus, organization, problem-solving and speed of thinking more noticeably than memory.
Stage 4 Early Stage Dementia
This stage tends to last about 2 years and is associated with moderate cognitive decline. The symptoms include: misplacing items, losing track of the time, date, or day of the week, trouble remembering names, forgetting recent conversations or memories, loss of interest in people or activities. At this stage, the patient may have difficulty traveling alone or managing finances.
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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.
What Are The 7 Stages Of Vascular Dementia
Like other forms of dementia, there vascular dementia can be broken down into 7 stages. These stages the symptoms, how long they last, etc. vary for every individual.
These stages are determined by the cognitive decline of the person with dementia. They can help caregivers understand what to expect and look out for in each stage as dementia progresses.
Here are the 7 stages of vascular dementia:
Stage 1: No signs of dementia
Stage 2: Very mild decline
Stage 3: Mild decline
Stage 4: Moderate decline
Stage 5: Moderately severe decline
Stage 6: Severe decline
Stage 7: End stage dementia
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Stage : Severe Cognitive Decline
This stage of dementia is often called middle dementia. When an individual enters this period, he or she needs a high level of care to complete daily living activities. The person will forget the names of close family members and friends. Furthermore, individuals have very little recall of recent events. Instead, individuals may have better recollection of past events from earlier in their lives. The individual can remember his or her name and identify familiar faces from unfamiliar faces. Basic skills like counting to 10 and reciting the alphabet become difficult.
During this time, incontinence becomes an issue with the individual having difficult controlling bladder and bowels. Communication is extremely hard with severe speech impediments. Emotional issues are very common during this stage. The individual will often become agitated or delusional. Sleep patterns are impacted with sleeplessness at night and exhaustion during the day. Some individuals demonstrate compulsions like repeating behaviors. He or she may clean the same thing over and over again.
Since the individual becomes very agitated in this stage, violence can occur in otherwise non-violent individuals. Wandering is also an issue at this stage and many caregivers need to have an alert system in place. This stage of dementia will usually last between two and three years.
Common Early Symptoms Of Dementia
Different types of dementia can affect people differently, and everyone will experience symptoms in their own way.
However, there are some common early symptoms that may appear some time before a diagnosis of dementia. These include:
- memory loss
- difficulty concentrating
- finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting confused over the correct change when shopping
- struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
- being confused about time and place
- mood changes
These symptoms are often mild and may get worse only very gradually. It’s often termed “mild cognitive impairment” as the symptoms are not severe enough to be diagnosed as dementia.
You might not notice these symptoms if you have them, and family and friends may not notice or take them seriously for some time. In some people, these symptoms will remain the same and not worsen. But some people with MCI will go on to develop dementia.
Dementia is not a natural part of ageing. This is why it’s important to talk to a GP sooner rather than later if you’re worried about memory problems or other symptoms.
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Stage : Slight Cognitive Decline
For Stage 2, signs of mild cognitive decline, also known as Age Associated Memory Impairment, are common. Caregivers and family members may notice slight forgetfulness from time to time, but memory issues may go undetected. For instance, familiar names may slip the persons mind, or the individual may forget where he or she left an object. During this period, lost keys or misplaced cell phones could become a common occurrence. This stage does not warrant a dementia diagnosis and signs of the disease would not be seen during any memory tests. The person would still be able to have a job and participate in normal social activities. Not all individuals with these signs will move on to the later stages of dementia.
Caregiving During The Middle Stages
As cognitive function begins to decline in a more obvious way, patients could show symptoms like:
Easily losing track of time or whereabouts
Withdrawing from family and friends
Being scared of being alone or in new places
If a patient is still living at home or is in an independent or assisted living community, you might consider the beginning steps of moving them to a memory care facility.
As a caregiver, you might recognize that the patient:
Needs more help completing daily tasks
Is becoming less independent and
Needs frequent reminders
While you search for a memory care facility, continue to provide love, support, and companionship as needed.
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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:
Stage 3 Mild Changesquality Of Life: Very Little Impact
You likely will start to notice changes in your loved ones thinking and reasoning. You also will see some memory loss. You may see your loved one:
- Show some signs of forgetfulness, such as losing an item and not being able to retrace steps to find it.
- Have some difficulty finding the right words or names.
- Take more effort to remember appointments, manage money, and manage medicines.
- Have trouble paying attention all the time.
- Begin to have problems at work.
How You Can Help:
If you havent already done it, help your loved one plan for when he or she might have severe dementia. Use our tools to create a document that list his or her values and priorities at different stages of dementia.
If you have, help the health care team follow your loved ones care preferences.
You can also help with:
- Organizing appointments.
- Managing medicines, such as using a pill organizer.
- Helping to put legal and financial documents in order.
- Start to do more of the driving, if possible.
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Stage : Very Mild Changes
You still might not notice anything amiss in your loved one’s behavior, but they may be picking up on small differences, things that even a doctor doesn’t catch. This could include forgetting words or misplacing objects.
At this stage, subtle symptoms of Alzheimer’s don’t interfere with their ability to work or live independently.
Keep in mind that these symptoms might not be Alzheimer’s at all, but simply normal changes from aging.
Caregiving In The Late Stages
According to the Alzheimers Association, the later stages will be the most difficult, as your loved one is now very frail and relies on you for most of their daily care. At this late stage, encouraging your loved one to eat and sleep will grow increasingly difficult. During this time, they may lose the ability to walk steadily, so an occupational therapist may help them stay mobile without falling. Gather a team of experts to help you, like a speech therapist to help with communication and a nutritionist to recommend the best food and alternative food options, like blended meals, smoothies, and finger foods, that boost the immunity and are packed with nutrition. Incontinence, severe memory loss and disorientation, immune system problems, repetitive movements, and strange or unusual behavior must all be managed during this stage as well.
Watching a loved one live with dementia is never easy. With the proper tools, you can help them navigate their symptoms to live an enriching life. Staying on top of the latest research with Google alerts and attending seminars from expert speakers and medical professionals will keep you up-to-date on new treatments and care techniques. Most importantly, find a supportive community. There are many support groups for caregivers where you can share your successes, frustrations, fears, and joys with other caregivers. Remember, you are not alone!
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Conditions With Symptoms Similar To Dementia
Remember that many conditions have symptoms similar to dementia, so it is important not to assume that someone has dementia just because some of the above symptoms are present. Strokes, depression, excessive long-term alcohol consumption, infections, hormonal disorders, nutritional deficiencies and brain tumours can all cause dementia-like symptoms. Many of these conditions can be treated.
Where To Get Help
- Your local community health centre
- National Dementia Helpline Dementia Australia Tel. 1800 100 500
- Aged Care Assessment Services Tel. 1300 135 090
- My Aged Care 1800 200 422
- Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinics Tel. 1300 135 090
- Carers Victoria Tel. 1800 242 636
- Commonwealth Carelink and Respite Centres Australian Government Tel. 1800 052 222
- Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service Tel. 1800 699 799 for 24-hour telephone advice for carers and care workers
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Stage : Moderate Dementia
Patients in stage 5 need some assistance in order to carry out their daily lives. The main sign for stage 5 dementia is the inability to remember major details such as the name of a close family member or a home address. Patients may become disoriented about the time and place, have trouble making decisions, and forget basic information about themselves, such as a telephone number or address.
While moderate dementia can interfere with basic functioning, patients at this stage do not need assistance with basic functions such as using the bathroom or eating. Patients also still have the ability to remember their own names and generally the names of spouses and children.
The 6 Warning Signs Of Dementia
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:00 Introduction: Dementia
:10 Could it be dementia?
2:00 Whats dementia?
2:25 Early indications of dementia
5:15 Stopping dementia
Today I will cover six early indications of dementia. Bear in mind these may be indications of other activities like too little sleep, a bloodstream sugar problem, or a number of other thingsnot always dementia.
Dementia is really a mental decline. Song from the brain are really shrinkingspecifically the hippocampus.
6 early indications of dementia:
1. Difficulty organizing and planning things
2. Personality changes
5. Language problems
6. Problems navigating
If you feel youre showing early indications of dementia, its better to take action now. Dont hold back until it might be a larger problem.
Important steps you can take at this time:
1. Take vitamin B1
2. Fix the gut
3. Consume sprouts
4. Generate ketones
5. Consume ginkgo biloba
6. Consume lions mane mushroom
7. Consume omega-3 essential fatty acids, vitamin D, and zinc, and obtain lots of exercise and sleep
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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
- 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.
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
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Stage : Normal Outward Behavior
Alzheimerâs disease usually starts silently, with brain changes that begin years before anyone notices a problem. When your loved one is in this early phase, they won’t have any symptoms that you can spot. Only a PET scan, an imaging test that shows how the brain is working, can reveal whether they have Alzheimer’s.
As they move into the next six stages, your friend or relative with Alzheimer’s will see more and more changes in their thinking and reasoning.
What Are The 7 As Of Dementia
The Seven As are an easy way for caregivers to remember which areas of the brain can be affected by dementia. Each of these As represents damage to a particular part of the brain:
- Anosognosia the individual no longer realizes there is something wrong.
- Amnesia the individual suffers memory loss beginning with short-term and eventually long-term memories.
- Aphasia the individual experiences loss of language skills, including the ability to speak, understand, read or write.
- Agnosia the individual is unable to recognize things through the senses: sight, sound, taste, touch and smell.
- the individual has difficulty with movement and activities involving coordination, like tying shoelaces, doing up zippers, and driving.
- Altered perceptions the individual suffers loss of depth perception, for example.
- Apathy the individual is unable to, or lacks interest in beginning activities, or staying involved in a conversation or task.
As a caregiver, keep in mind that a person with dementia may not experience all of the As. Dementia can affect several different areas of the brain, but not always at the same time.
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When Is Memory Care Needed
Memory care is specialized care for seniors with dementia. It includes 24-hour supervision to prevent wandering, help with ADLs, meal services, and, often, health care as needed.
Memory care can be beneficial from the early stages of dementia through the end of life. Specially designed memory care activities, dining plans, and exercise programs cater to all seven stages of dementia in elderly loved ones.
When to seek memory care will vary depending on a seniors dementia symptoms, health status, living situation, and more. Reach out to our free, local Senior Living Advisors to discuss memory care and dementia home care options for your family.
Reisberg, B., Ferris, S.H., de Leon, M.J., and Crook, T. The global deterioration scale for assessment of primary degenerative dementia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1982:
National Institute on Aging, What is Mild Cognitive Impairment?: