Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that severely impacts memory, thinking, and behavior. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are not synonymous. A specific form of dementia is caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia refers to cognitive decline that can have many causes. Alzheimer’s accounts for up to 80% of dementia cases, so the two terms are often used interchangeably.
Many people struggle to identify Alzheimer’s in their loved ones in its early stages even though more people are well-informed about Alzheimer’s.
We will discuss the four stages of Alzheimer’s (pre-diagnosis, mild, moderate, and severe) in this article and help you determine which stage your loved one is currently experiencing.
Here Are The Four Stages Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Pre-diagnosis/ Alzheimer’s First Symptoms
Alzheimer’s is just beginning to appear at this stage. The symptoms are typically mild, making them hard for loved ones to detect. Because of this, Alzheimer’s patients often experience mild symptoms so no one realizes anything is wrong. Symptoms at this point are not severe enough to interfere with daily life, so they are dismissed as part of aging.
Initial symptoms differ between individuals. People may experience difficulty with depth perception or spatial relationships, which can make it difficult to drive safely or walk without falling. Others may initially find it difficult to find the right words or misuse their vocabulary. Early on, Alzheimer’s is difficult to diagnose due to the wide range of symptoms.
Alzheimer’s – Mild
Alzheimer’s is a stage when symptoms begin to interfere with daily life. This is when most diagnoses are made. Alzheimer’s patients will experience significant memory loss and other cognitive issues, which will affect their daily lives.
Daily tasks such as paying bills or doing chores will become increasingly challenging. They may lose track of their conversations, forget the proper vocabulary for certain items, and ask questions over and over again. It’s also the stage when people start wandering off and getting lost.
Alzheimer’s – Moderate
At this stage, people have difficulty identifying their loved ones. Memory loss and other cognition problems become more severe. At this point, their behavior and personality may change significantly, perhaps becoming more stubborn and paranoid. While also suffering from damage to the sensory processing part of their brain, they may also experience delusions and hallucinations. It is nearly impossible to learn new tasks, and any action or task that involves more than one step is extraordinarily challenging.
Alzheimer’s – Severe
dementia is so severe that the person cannot care for themselves. The disease has spread throughout most of the brain, making it nearly impossible for the person to carry out any task without assistance. They also have difficulty communicating. As the body begins to shut down, mobility becomes increasingly limited. As the disease has completely engulfed them, they are often bedridden near the end of their lives.
Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people worldwide. There is currently no cure for the disease, and many have lost loved ones. If you understand the stages of Alzheimer’s and recognize the symptoms, you may be able to find a preventative method for reducing the symptoms’ progression.
Symptoms are diagnosed on average about 2.8 years after they appear, but talking to a medical professional early on may extend the lifespan of an individual. The average lifespan for someone with Alzheimer’s is only eight to ten years after diagnosis, but with prevention methods and lifestyle changes, some people live twenty years after diagnosis.