What Are the Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease?

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Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, which means it gradually worsens over time. Doctors divide the disease into stages based on how severe a person’s symptoms are. It typically takes about four to eight years to go through all the stages, but in some cases it may take up to 20 years to progress through each stage. A senior who has Alzheimer’s disease will gradually go through the following stages.

Early Stage

In the earliest stage of Alzheimer’s, it’s almost impossible to tell if a senior has the disease. An aging adult may not express any outward signs of the condition, and it might just masquerade as very basic and common forgetfulness like not being able to find the car keys every now and then. However, Alzheimer’s disease can already be developing even if everything seems normal. A brain scan may be able to reveal if there are already changes to the structure of the brain. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Centennial, CO, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Mild Stage

Most seniors get diagnosed during this stage. It is very mild and subtle, so it may not affect daily life yet. Typically, the disease will just present as very mild cognitive decline. A senior may ask the same question more than once, forget the names of new acquaintances, not be able to find the right word to describe an object, or misplace belongings occasionally. Seniors in the mild stage of Alzheimer’s can still work, live by themselves, and make decisions about their own wellbeing.

Middle Stage

By the middle stage, Alzheimer’s has normally progressed enough that it is not safe for a senior to be driving or living independently. In many cases, this is the stage when a family member will need to start stopping by to check up on the senior or move in with him or her. Issues with memory and logical thinking might become noticeable enough that a senior who has not been diagnosed yet would get medical help at this point. Memory issues are severe enough that seniors may forget personal details about themselves or not be able to remember which season it is. Due to difficulties with thinking or reasoning, seniors in the middle stage normally cannot do things like manage budgets, make meals, or take care of a home.

Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Centennial seniors can depend on.

Late Stage

After spending quite a while in the middle stage, most seniors with Alzheimer’s face a sudden and sharp decrease in cognitive health. They may no longer recognize loved ones, think they are years younger than they are, or lose the ability to communicate. At this stage, caregivers may need to help with basic things like going to the bathroom, bathing, or eating. As the disease progresses, seniors may forget how to do basic things like sit, stand, walk, and swallow.

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Centennial Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call us at 303.957.3100.