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The 7 Stages of Dementia

The 7 Stages of Dementia

Dementia is a broad term that refers to loss of mental ability. It has many forms, perhaps the most well know is Alzheimers, but there are many others.

It's difficult to diagnose Dementia until around Stage 3, but MRI and PET scans can help big time. For caregivers it helps to understand the stages. Symptoms can vary a lot from patient to patient, but here's the general trend.

Stage 1
Normal mental functioning
But changes in the brain are taking place

Stage 2
Minor memory mistakes
Problems with numbers

Stage 3
Forgetting to go to appointments
Losing things
Getting lost while walking
Difficulty finding the right words
Verbal repetition
Trouble with complex tasks
Problems with driving

Stage 4
Social withdrawal
Emotional moodiness
Trouble with routine tasks
Forgetting recent events
Denial of symptoms

Stage 5
Pronounced memory loss
Confusion and forgetfulness
Sundown syndrome
Further reduced problem solving ability

Stage 6
Urinary or fecal incontinence
Aggression and anxiety
Personality changes including paranoia or delusions
Inability to perform ADLs
Pronounced memory loss
Inability to recognize loved ones and caregivers

Stage 7
Inability to speak
Inability to move without help
Impaired bodily functions

It's also important to realize that the rate of progression through these stages can vary greatly from patient to patient. For some it may be just a few years and for others it may be many years.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott
Disclaimer: This is for general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice.
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