People with Alzheimer’s go through different experiences when battling with the disease, and have been seen to witness the same ambit right from the start of the disease, to the sympathetic end. The exact number of Alzheimer’s stages is quite arbitrary, to be honest. Some experts try using a subtle model with a three-phase, while others have invented a granular breakdown and have considered it to be effective, in understanding the progress of the disease.
Alzheimer’s stages – Everything you need to know before proceeding with the treatment
The model held out by New York University claims that there are altogether seven Alzheimer’s stages. This particular model for understanding Alzheimer’s progression has been taken up and been in use ever since, by innumerable providers of healthcare and also the Alzheimer’s Association.
Below are the details of Alzheimer’s stages:
Normal Outward Behavior
When your loved one is going through the beginning Alzheimer’s stages, you may not see any noticeable changes. So you won’t understand the symptoms. A thorough PET Scan, which is an imaging test, can reveal the actual condition of the brain’s functionality, and reveal if the person has Alzheimer’s disease.
With fleeting time and as the disease progresses, your relative or loved one will be seen to undergo a lot of changes; both in their reasoning and thinking process as well.
The patient may start to display slight memory related issues due to the disease. They may seem to be losing random things in the house, though it may not be extreme enough to differentiate it with the normal memory loss that one undergoes with age. The person may also miraculously do well in several tests for memory power.
A Mild Decline
The third stage may help close observers to recognize some signs of cognitive and memory loss. The performance on cognitive and memory examinations will be affected, and a qualified physician can easily recognize the signs of impaired cognitive.
In this stage patients will have difficulty with:
- Remembering the names of kin or close relatives
- Figuring out the right word during a discourse
- Organizing and Planning
- Patients dealing with the stage three of the disease may also lose valuables and other personal belongings.
It is in stage four of Alzheimer’s disease that all the major symptoms become crystal clear. These are:
- Likely to forget the minute details of their life history
- Have issues with complicated and straightforward functions
- Have short-term memory loss that can be concerning (might not recall what they consumed for dinner or breakfast).
- Inefficiency in paying and managing bills.
Moderately Severe Decline
The patients in the fifth stage of Alzheimer’s disease will need help in almost all their regular activities. The symptoms are:
- Major confusions
- Inefficiency in recalling simple and important self-details like their address or phone number.
- Issues in dressing well.
On the other hand, patients in the fifth Alzheimer’s stages keep up with day to day functioning at a minimum level. They may even be able to use the toilet and bathe normally. They can still recognize their relatives and family, as well as their personal details and histories, especially of their youth and childhood.
People in the sixth Alzheimer’s stage require professional help and must be observed constantly. The symptoms are:
- Serious changes in personality and behavioral issues.
- Unaware or confusion regarding surrounding and environments.
- Inefficiency in recognizing known faces, except for relatives and close friends.
- The requirement of assistance with daily activities like bathing and toilet use.
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
Quite a Severe Decline
The seventh stage is the last and the final Alzheimer’s stage. Patients in this stage are generally nearing death, as Alzheimer’s is basically a terminal disease. The last stage usually has patients losing out on the efficiency to communicate or respond to their environment. In the final illness stage, patients might even lose their swallowing ability.
We have learned about all the seven Alzheimer’s stages and though there are certain medications that help us cure or prevent the symptoms of the disease, or help us fight it, the most recommended, and often, the most underrated factor is the love and care which we forget to endow. Treat Alzheimer’s patients with extreme affection as that is the best remedy for any given illness. Once a person gets blessed with abundant love, they may feel secure in spite of their circumstances, and they are sure to respond to the treatment better in the long term.