Stage 5: Mid Stage Semi Severe Vascular Dementia
Another one on the list of the vascular dementia stages that I would like to reveal in this article today and want you and my other readers to know if you are considering whether they get this disorder or not.
Loss of mobility: Many people gradually lose the ability of walking and performing everyday tasks. One of the first signs is that they walk unsteadily. They can also seem slower, bump into things and fall objects. Some people even become confined to a chair or bed. People who are caring for people with vascular dementia should ask for an advice from a community nurse or a therapist to aid mobility.
Memory loss: This symptom is very severe in the stages of vascular dementia. Patients may not be able to recognize other people who are close to them and even their own reflection. Also, they may not be able to find their way home around familiar surroundings or identify objects they use every day. However, occasionally, they may experience sudden flashes of recognition. They may believe that they are in a time from their past and may look for something or somebody from that time. For those around them, it may be helpful to try talking with them about the past. Even when they have severe memory loss, they still can appreciate or respond to music, touch and scent. Thus, continue to talk to them, even when they cannot respond.
The 7 Stages Of Alzheimers: What You Can Do As A Patient In The Third Stage
- Assess your risk;by seeing a doctor for assessment and cognitive testing
- Support your wellbeing;by staying socially active and engaged. Decide how youd like to share your diagnosis with family and friends. Make a plan for family and friends to assist with establishing and managing new routines. Read about the latest research and consider clinical trial participation
Stage 1: 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 To Do If You Or A Loved One Might Have Dementia
If you or a loved one suspect that you have dementia, you must seek out medical council immediately.
Your doctor will ask you and your caregiver a series of questions to figure out what stage of dementia youre at. These might include some mental tests, including the Mini-Mental State Examination.
This exam has 11 questions to help pinpoint any issues with cognitive decline. The scores range from 0-30, with 30 being the best score and 0 being the lowest.
They may also ask you to complete simple tasks, such as drawing a clock.
If you have received a diagnosis, you need to talk to your family members about your plan of treatment. This can include nursing facilities and treatment programs.
Second Dementia Stage: Very Mild Decline
Older adults at the second stage of dementia may begin to notice that they are experiencing some minor memory issues. It is common for people at this stage to forget where they put things in the house. Memory lapses can also be seen when a person forgets the names that were at one time familiar. The memory loss patients experience during the second stage of dementia cannot be clearly distinguished from the ordinary age-related memory loss. It is to say that an individual may still do well when they go through memory tests.
It is also possible that physicians and loved ones may not be in a position to detect the disease at this stage. Studies reveal that almost half of the 65 and older generation report minor forgetfulness. It is also important to understand that the subtle changes could have nothing to do with dementia, but they might just be regular changes that come about as a person becomes older.
However, if a person has dementia, it may be severe enough to interfere with a persons ability to live independently or complete their daily chores. Life may go on normally at this point apart from occasional cases of slight memory loss.
Also Check: Is Reading Good For Dementia
How We Classify The Stages Of Dementia
Most doctors divide dementia into seven different stages. Each of these stages has a different level of severity. It ranges from no dementia to late-stage dementia. To provide clarity, weve grouped these stages under their different classifications.
Weve also done our best to help you answer common questions, like how long does each stage of dementia last. There are no guarantees that youll see a clear-cut transition between the stages. But they provide helpful guidelines to keep an eye out for.
Stage 4: 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.
You May Like: Is There A Treatment For Alzheimer’s
Stage 3: Initial Mild Stage
Initial mild stage is also one of the vascular dementia that people should know and try to reduce its signs and symptoms for good.
This is known as the starting of this kind of disorder. During this stage, he or she will become more forgetful than ever before.
They will have difficulty in remembering what they were talking about and what they need to do. Besides, they will find it hard to concentrate at work, thus decreasing work performance. People can get lost more often and feel difficult to find the right words.
This stage of vascular dementia often begins to show signs and symptoms, about 5-7 years before the prediction of the presence of this disorder. Also, there is no diagnosis of vascular dementia.
This is in brief one of the vascular dementia stages, so people should not look down, yet work with their doctors and familiars; in order to manage their conditions.
Stage 2: 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.
Recommended Reading: How Early Can Dementia Start
Stage 6: 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.
Stage 2: Very Mild Changes In Behavior
Jumping into stage 2 will show very mild changes in behavior. The symptoms can be simple and are usually not caught by doctors.;
Simple signs such as misplacing objects or finding the right words to say may be a sign that someone is in the second stage.
The symptoms may be missed because it can often be attributed to signs of aging.
At this point, the signs are still manageable and can still allow the person affected to work normally.
This stage may run for at least seven years.
Also Check: What Diseases Are Similar To Alzheimer’s
Fourth Dementia Stage: Moderate Decline
Dementia symptoms are clear-cut at this point. Patients who at the fourth stage of dementia showcase some issues such as:
- Difficulties solving simple arithmetic
- Short-term memory loss, for instance, one may not remember what they had for lunch in the afternoon
- Forgetting information about their life history
- Reduced knowledge of recent or current events
- Inability to pay bills or even manage finances
- Trouble with routine chores or tasks
- Challenges recognizing people and faces
- Trouble with traveling to a new location alone
To help efficiently deal with this dementia stage, loved ones can help out with daily tasks and make sure that the patient is safe at all times. Be on the lookout to make sure that they do not fall victim to unscrupulous individuals who may want to take advantage of the patient financially. For many patients, the fourth dementia stage usually lasts about two years.
Many patients at this time also tend to withdraw from the society mainly because they feel like what they are going through is embarrassing them. They could also face adverse changes in their moods and personality. Many patients also deny that they have any symptoms as a defense mechanism, even though the symptoms may be quite evident.
How Long Each Stage Will Last
There is not a clear timeline for the progression of dementia because it can vary widely by type of dementia and by person. While the average person lives 8-10 years with Alzheimers disease, some have lived 20 plus years after diagnosis. On average, individuals with vascular dementia typically live about 5 years after their symptoms begin. Those with Dementia with Lewy bodies typically live 6-12 years after their symptoms first develop, and those with frontotemporal dementia live an average of 6-8 years after symptoms first manifest.
However, not only is there no uniform disease trajectory, but individuals can also be diagnosed with mixed dementia, in which they simultaneously experience characteristics of more than one type of dementia. No two people are exactly the same, thus no two experiences of dementia will be exactly the same.
Behavioral And Cognitive Symptoms Of Dementia
Michelle Niedens, L.S.C.S.W.,;in The Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Alzheimers, states that 80% of individuals with dementia will experience neuropsychiatric symptoms.
Personality changes such as anxiety, depression or irritability are common in the early stages of the disease. Later, agitation, physical or verbal outbursts, pacing and;restlessness are more common.
Behavioral symptoms have been identified as the most challenging and distressing for caregivers and family members. They are oftentimes the determining factor in deciding to move a family member with Alzheimers into a structured living environment.
Cognitive symptoms start out mild in the early stages of Alzheimers and gradually worsen as each stage progresses. In the late stages of Alzheimers, the person with the disease is no longer able to form new;memories or access old ones. Language abilities become;worse;until the person is no longer able to communicate. Judgment;and reasoning skills continue to diminish and eventually,;the person with dementia loses the ability to reason altogether.
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:
You May Like: How To Deal With Someone With Dementia
Reminder About Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers disease is a degenerative brain disease that causes the gradual death of brain cells and loss of connectivity which disrupts the cognitive abilities of the person. It is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. It leads to the gradual and irreversible loss of mental functions, causing especially memory problems.
Loss of memory is one of the best-known symptoms. However, the progression of Alzheimer, including the evolution of lesions in the brain tissue and other parts of the brain, will later prevent other mental abilities from functioning and accelerate cognitive decline.
Hence, a person with Alzheimers disease will later experience emotional and behavioural disorders. However, such symptoms are not part of the normal ageing process. It is therefore important to consult a doctor at an early stage to make sure they are not caused by related diseases or other factors.
The Early Stages Of Dementia: Noticeable Cognitive Decline
A person is not typically diagnosed with dementia until theyre at stage 4 or beyond. This is when medical professionals and caregivers notice personality changes, as well as cognitive impairment.
Dementia stage 4: moderate cognitive decline
At this point, a person has clear, visible signs of mental impairment. While its considered mild or early stage dementia, the medical terminology for the fourth of the seven stages of dementia is moderate cognitive decline.
Doctors and caregivers will likely notice a worsening of stage 3 dementia symptoms, such as difficulties with language, problem-solving, and travel.
Stage 4 dementia symptoms
Also Check: When A Loved One Has Dementia
The 7 Stages Of Alzheimers: What You Can Do As A Caregiver In The Last Stage
- Support your loved one by speaking to a doctor about medication options to make the patient more comfortable. Communicate with doctors at what point medical intervention should not be considered
- Support your wellbeing;by understanding the ways the disease ends and trying to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally
- Plan for the future;by looking into palliative care options or preparing for end-of-life arrangements
Stage7: Severest Cognitive Decline
At this stage, most people with AD lose their ability to communicate. Research shows that for most individuals, speech is limited to 6 words or fewer.
After sometime speech will decline to a single recognizable word before it is lost.
For survival, they usually require help with most daily activities including bathing, toileting, eating, and other activities around the clock.
Stage 7 is also associated with loss of psychomotor capabilities implying individuals at this stage may require help with ambulation and some might not be able to walk at all.
Affected individuals normally lose their ability to smile and instead they only have grimacing facial movements.
After a while, individuals may also lose their ability to hold their heads without support and others are not able to swallow.
Body movements tend to become more rigid which can cause severe pain to the affected persons.
Healthline reports that at least 40% of persons with AD form contractures, or hardening and shortening of tendons, muscles, and other tissues.
It is also common for adults to develop infantile reflexes such as sucking.
As cognitive and memory skills continue to become worse, individuals may require extensive care.
At some point, caregivers may have to consider support services like hospice care that will offer dignity and comfort at the end of life.
Most people with AD will succumb during this stage.
Some individuals survive for years in this stage with proper care and life support.
Don’t Miss: Is Weight Loss A Symptom Of Dementia
What Is The Sixth Stage Of Alzheimers Symptoms
In the sixth stage of Alzheimers, you may have an inability to recognize faces, except those of close friends and relatives, experience major personality changes, require daily living assistance, including toileting and bathing, experience a complete loss of bowel or bowel control and start wandering.
Using The Gds To Measure Dementia Progression
As the disease progresses, different signs and symptoms will become increasingly obvious. While there are several scales to measure the progression of dementia, the most common scale is the Global Deterioration Scale for Assessment of Primary Degenerative Dementia . The scale is also known as the Reisberg Scale. According to the GDS, there are seven different stages of Alzheimers disease correlating with four distinct categories: no Alzheimers, mild Alzheimers , moderate Alzheimers , and severe Alzheimers .
Read Also: Is Dementia Related To Alzheimer’s
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.
Stage 4: 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.
Don’t Miss: How To Definitively Diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease