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What Is The Middle Stage Of Alzheimer’s

Stage : Mild Cognitive Decline

Four Stages of Dementia: The Middle Stage

Certain symptoms are common in the 3rd stages of Alzheimers.

For instance, a person with mild cognitive decline may find it hard to concentrate or focus on something.

Most people will also experience increased forgetfulness. If an individual is working, their performance at the workplace may be compromised.

People who stay at home may experience decreased performance in household chores like cleaning or even staying updated with paying bills.

Learning a new skill at this point becomes difficult. People may get lost in familiar places and they can find it challenging to find the correct words to speak when having a conversation.

Someone with stage 3 Alzheimers may frequently lose their possessions including prized items.

In this stage, a persons family may begin to notice the changes that are happening in their loved ones life.

The affected person may not do too well on memory tests and doctors can detect impaired cognitive function.

This stage can last up to seven years and the symptoms may start to be clearer in 2-4 years.

A person may need professional counseling at this stage especially if they have been conducting complex job responsibilities.

Most people will experience mild to moderate denial and anxiety during the 3rd stage of AD.

It is best to consult a physician during this point so that they can come up with care planning and treatment options that will keep the symptoms at bay.

What Behavioural Changes Happen In Middle

Changes in behaviour tend to start from the middle stage of dementia. These changes are common and individual symptoms may come and go. Changes in behaviour are some of the most challenging symptoms for people with dementia and for those who support them.

Common changes that are seen in all types of dementia at this stage can include:

  • agitation and restlessness for example, fidgeting or walking up and down
  • screaming or shouting
  • repetitive behaviour for example, repeatedly pulling at clothes or asking the same question over and over
  • following a carer around or constantly checking that they are near
  • disturbed sleep patterns sleep is particularly disrupted, and in a different way, in a person with dementia with Lewy bodies
  • losing inhibitions for example, saying things arent appropriate or undressing in public .

People may become more agitated, aggressive or confused in the late afternoon or early evening, a pattern known as sundowning.

These behaviours are often because the person has a specific physical or emotional need that is not being met.

For more information see our pages on ‘Changes in behaviour’, ‘Aggression and dementia’ and ‘Walking about’.

How Long Will A Person With Dementia Live For

Whatever type of dementia a person has, their life expectancy is on average lower. This is why dementia is called a life-limiting condition. This can be very upsetting to think about.

However, its important to remember that, no matter how a persons dementia changes over time, there are ways to live well with the condition.

Good support can make a huge difference to the persons quality of life at all stages of dementia.

How long a person lives with dementia varies greatly from person to person. It depends on many factors, such as the ones listed on The progression and stages of dementia page.

Other factors include:

  • how far dementia had progressed when the person was diagnosed
  • what other serious health conditions the person with dementia has such as diabetes, cancer, or heart problems
  • how old the person was when their symptoms started older people are more likely than younger people to have other health conditions that may lower their life expectancy. A person in their 90s who is diagnosed with dementia is more likely to die from other health problems before they reach the later stages than is a person diagnosed in their 70s.

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Common Symptoms Of The Middle Stage

Below are some common signs of the middle stage of dementia. *

Memory and thinking skills

  • Difficulty with short-term and long-term memory
  • Forgets parts of his or her personal history, especially more recent years
  • Trouble solving simple problems
  • More easily upset or withdrawn

Daily self-care

  • Needs practical help with dressing, bathing, and taking medications
  • Slowed walking and reaction time
  • No longer safe to drive
  • Easily becomes fatigued

What You Can Expect


Every individual that deals with middle-stage Alzheimers has a separate, unique experience. Some forget to turn off the stove on occasion. Others struggle with names of friends they dont socialize with often. They may also struggle with performing daily tasks or expressing their thoughts. You may notice that theyre getting frustrated easily, unable to recall past memories, or getting lost.

As the months and years pass, the individual in question may require more assistance from family members and caregivers. They may choose to withdraw from social situations, as recalling certain names and faces becomes difficult and embarrassing to them. Dont forget, while their capacity to remember and retain information fades, their emotions dont go anywhere but rather amplify over time.

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How Does Dementia Reduce Life Expectancy

Dementia reduces life expectancy in two ways.

First, some of the diseases that are closely linked to Alzheimers disease and vascular dementia, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease can mean a lower life expectancy. For example, vascular dementia is closely linked to heart disease and stroke. A person with vascular dementia is at risk of dying at any stage of dementia, from one of these.

The other way that dementia reduces life expectancy is through the effects of severe disease.

These all make them much more likely to develop other medical problems that can lead to death, such as infections or cardiovascular problems .

This is why the later stage of dementia is often the shortest.

A person with dementia can also die at any stage from another condition not closely related to their dementia. Cancer and lung disease are common examples.

Stage : Moderate Cognitive Decline

Individuals at this stage will start to have more challenges with daily tasks. Denial of symptoms is usually more evident in this stage.

Some people will also have socialization issues where they withdraw from their relatives and friends.

This is mostly because they begin to be aware of the changes happening.

Other warning signs prominent in this stage include:

  • Having poor short-term memory
  • Having challenges with simple arithmetic
  • Forgetting details about life history
  • Having difficulties paying bills and managing finances
  • Having challenges cooking or even ordering from a menu
  • Forgetting about the season or month
  • Vision loss can also happen in some individuals. It can be as simple as having a hard time reading
  • Personality and mood changes may also occur some of the most noticeable ones being depression, confusion, fearfulness, and anxiety
  • Some individuals may also become increasingly irritated when something out of the norm happens.

This stage lasts about 2 years.

Individuals at this stage may need assistance from caregivers. Carers can lend a hand with day-to-day chores and making sure affected persons are well-fed and safe.

This includes looking out for them to ensure no one takes advantage of them financially because many affected individuals can become victims of financial scams.

Some affected adults may not be fit to drive and caregivers should ensure they do not get behind the wheel and endanger their lives and those of others.

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What To Expect With Mid

Early-stage Alzheimers typically lasts for 1-2 years. During this time, the effects are noticeable but not debilitating. A persons memory might falter occasionally, and they may need help with certain day-to-day tasks. But for the most part, they are able to function and care for themselves.

Unfortunately, this starts to change in the middle and later stages of Alzheimers disease.

Mid-Stage Alzheimers Disease

With mid-stage Alzheimers, a person will start struggling to function independently. Their memory and cognitive abilities will markedly decrease. Also, they will start to depend on Alzheimers care from family, friends, or professional caregivers.

  • Inability to recognize or remember the names of loved ones
  • Needing assistance with personal activities like dressing and bathing

A person with mid-stage Alzheimers, which typically lasts from 2-4 years, can typically continue to live at home. However, family caregivers often rely on outside support from friends and Alzheimers care professionals at this stage.

Late-Stage Alzheimers Disease

Late-stage Alzheimers typically lasts for 1-2 years, during which time a person becomes entirely dependent on others for care. During this period, a person often loses language abilities completely, as well as short-term and long-term memory function.

Late-stage Alzheimers is characterized by:

Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease

What to Expect During the Middle Phase of Alzheimer’s Disease

In this article, we cover all the possible symptoms, challenges and what to do during the middle stage of Alzheimers disease.

This comprehensive guide will help you as a caregiver or someone who is concerned about their situation.

Alzheimers disease is a brain disorder, one of the most common dementia types. It causes numerous changes in the lives of persons who have the illness.

This includes confusion, memory loss, gradual loss of independence, and changes in personality among many others.

The disease progresses through four main stages.

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Mild Impairment Or Decline

The symptoms of Alzheimers are less clear during stage 3. While the entire stage lasts about seven years, the symptoms will slowly become clearer over a period of two to four years. Only people close to someone in this stage may notice the signs. Work quality will decline, and they may have trouble learning new skills.

Other examples of stage 3 signs include:

  • getting lost even when traveling a familiar route
  • finding it hard to remember the right words or names
  • being unable to remember what you just read
  • not remembering new names or people
  • misplacing or losing a valuable object

Your doctor or clinician may also have to conduct a more intense interview than usual to discover cases of memory loss.

Caregiver support: At this stage, someone with Alzheimers may need counseling, especially if they have complex job responsibilities. They may experience mild to moderate anxiety and denial.

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.

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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.

Preclinical Alzheimers Or No Impairment

What Are the Stages of Alzheimer

You may only know about your risk for Alzheimers disease due to family history. Or your doctor may identify biomarkers that indicate your risk.

Your doctor will interview you about memory problems, if youre at risk for Alzheimers. But there will be no noticeable symptoms during the first stage, which can last for years or decades.

Caregiver support: Someone in this stage is fully independent. They may not even know they have the disease.

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Does The Type Of Dementia Affect Life Expectancy

The type of dementia a person has can also affect how long they live with dementia. These figures for the number of years a person may live after a diagnosis are just averages and some people live longer than this.

This information may be upsetting to read and think about but it is very important to remember that, with the right support, people with dementia can live well at all stages.

Build Your Support System

One important thing to remember is: its okay to ask for help. Caregiving is a very exhaustive job, both physically and mentally. It may be more manageable to take care of an individual with early-stage Alzheimers, but once the progression happens, it will become more difficult. Unless they have personally dealt with Alzheimers disease or another dementia, family and friends may find it hard to understand what youre going through. Keep them updated on your loved ones daily routines. The more you explain his/her habits, the better your family and friends will understand.

If you do need to reach out for help with an errand or chore, be very specific in what you need. Do you need someone to drive your loved one to an appointment? Or perhaps, you want an item picked up for his/her meal. Lay out the exact request step-by-step with advanced notice.

And if someone expresses reluctance to help, dont take it personally. Not many people have dealt with dementia before and they may be afraid that theyll fall short of your expectations. Take the time to discuss the situation and see if there is a way to compromise. There is no right way to approach dementia care, only the best way in the current moment.

This post was written in collaboration with AFCs social worker team.

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What To Expect During The Final Stages Of Alzheimers:

  • Total memory loss
  • A strong need for holding something close for tactile stimulation or comfort
  • Not recognizing thirst or hunger
  • Needing help with all basic activities of daily living
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control

While this can seem staggering, keep in mind this is a list of what is gone. While it is important to be prepared for what will be lost, it is equally, if not more, important to look at what is present.

What To Expect During The Middle Stages Of Alzheimers:

The Three Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Trouble recognizing family and friends
  • Repeating stories or favorite foods, places, songs, etc.
  • Difficulty performing complex tasks
  • Inability to handle personal finances
  • Less concern for hygiene and appearance
  • Needs help choosing proper clothing for the day, season, or occasion
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Wondering where they are/why they are there
  • Physical and verbal expressions of frustration
  • Changes in sleeping patterns

In this stage, a person may experience greater difficulty communicating. They may need more support performing daily tasks such as bathing or dressing, says Moreno. She stresses that caring for someone in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s requires flexibility and patience. You will need to adapt daily routines and structure to fit your loved one’s abilities.

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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
  • 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.

What To Expect In The Late Stages Of Alzheimers Disease

  • /
  • What To Expect In The Late Stages Of Alzheimers Disease

  • As Alzheimers advances into the later stages, caregivers and family members can expect quite a few new symptoms of the disease. Fortunately, being prepared now can help people better cope with the challenges of the late stages of Alzheimers.

    Although the disease doesnt affect every person the same way, informed caregivers can often reduce later stage crisis. Read our list of the symptoms to expect in the late stages of Alzheimers to better prepare for tomorrow, today.

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    The Later Stage Of Dementia

    People with later-stage dementia will eventually need full-time care and support with daily living and personal care, such as eating, washing and dressing. Whatever kind of dementia a person has, their life expectancy is on average lower.

    The progression and stages of dementia

    Dementia is a life-limiting condition and there is information about later-stage dementia and life expectancy on this page. Some people may find this upsetting and difficult to think about.

    For more general information about the different stages of dementia, see The progression and stages of dementia page.

    By the later stage of dementia, the condition will have a severe impact on most aspects of a persons life. The person will eventually need full-time care and support with daily living and personal care, such as eating, washing and dressing. This support can be provided by care at home but is more often given in a care home setting.

    Symptoms of all kinds are likely to cause the person considerable difficulties in this stage, but altered perception and physical problems are often the most noticeable. By the late stage, the symptoms of all types of dementia become very similar.

    The later stage of dementia tends to be the shortest. On average it lasts about one to two years.

    Are you supporting a person with later-stage dementia?

    Get practical advice and tips on supporting a person with later-stage dementia.

    Safety Concerns During Alzheimers Disease Middle Stage

    Discover Alzheimer

    The signs above may lead to the development of a couple of safety concerns for persons who are going through Alzheimers middle stage.

    One of the main ones has got to be driving.

    Because of changes that are happening in a persons body, it is advisable for people who have Alzheimers to stop driving when they get to the middle stages because it is no longer safe.

    Persons with the illness may find it hard at first, but the people around them must reassure them it is the right move.

    Additionally, friends and relatives should make sure the affected individuals always get rides when need be.

    It also becomes dangerous to leave a person who has Alzheimers alone during the middle stages. They are bound to wander and get lost or hurt.

    Safety precautions also need to be prioritized, especially if the person is still living at home to avoid accidents and enhance safety.

    If the person with Alzheimers lives alone, it would be a great idea for them to move in with relatives who are willing to offer round the clock care.

    If this is not possible, a residential care setting is an excellent alternative.

    These are usually built for seniors who have Alzheimers thus, take care of residents needs in the proper way.

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