The 7 Stages of Dementia
Just 4 years back, there was an estimated global population of 46.8 million people suffering from dementia. In 2019, the statistics are predicted to cross this mark by a significant margin. At this pace, it’s expected that the figures will double every 2 decades, reaching 75 million in 2030.
Reports from meta-analysis have revealed that the occurrence of dementia is most common among age groups older than 60 years. Once our beloved parents and grandparents hit 85, they’ll be exposed to a 25-50% chance of exhibiting symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
With the chances of risks being so high, it should be a top-priority to learn more about this condition and understand the 7 stages of dementia.
Stage 1: No Dementia
At this stage, the patient will display no signs of a deteriorating mental condition and function as normal. By no symptoms, we mean no memory loss, no behavioral disruptions, or any other form of cognitive malfunctioning. Therefore, it’s difficult to detect the onset of dementia at this stage as the person appears to be completely healthy.
Stage 2: Mild Cognitive Decline
This stage is fairly similar to the previous stage apart from the fact that symptoms begin to show on a minimal scale. Mild cognitive decline begins to set in. Normal signs of aging become visible. You may notice your loved ones losing track of recent events and happenings. The patient may still not rely entirely on caregivers for sustenance but may need assistance occasionally. However, caretakers need to be careful about not assuming autonomy and compromising their agency completely. Key is to find the right balance between care and independence.
Stage 3: Visible Cognitive Malfunctioning
This is the last of the initial phase where the disease is only growing covertly. Memory loss and reduced work performance grows more severe gradually. Further symptoms also include speech difficulties, difficulty completing routine tasks and compromised focus. In other words, this stage can also be called Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). This stage is crucial as it offers sufficient symptoms for an early diagnosis of dementia and prompt medical assistance.
Stage 4: Early Dementia
Some of the common symptoms of early dementia include:
- Losing memory of recent conversations
- Losing track of time and date
- Misplacing possessions frequently
- Reluctance to try novel ideas
- Rising anxiety, agitation and depression in unusual settings or circumstances
- Difficulty remembering names or relations
- Having problems trying to plan or organize
This stage will make the struggle to concentrate, focus, retain and plan actions even more obvious. The problem progresses into causing difficulty in managing finances and visiting new places. Socialization may also become a nightmare and instigate social isolation and minimal interaction.
Stage 5 and 6: Mid-Stage Dementia
These two stages differ slightly from each other as both collectively constitute mid-stage dementia. You’ll notice marginally severe symptoms of dementia.
Stage 5 may last a total of 4 years and make the patient majorly dependent on external assistance by a caretaker. Short term memory will mostly have been lost by this time and dementia will become very easy to detect. The person will also exhibit overt signs of forgetfulness and a confused state of being with difficulty in getting through simple daily tasks.
Stage 6 is where the patient displays emotionally jarring symptoms such as forgetting any memory of family and close relations to the point that their names become foreign to them.
Communication will have suffered to a point that the person will experience severe difficulties in delivering simple messages. Their mental state may become delusional and their nature, compulsive.
Stage 7: Last-Stage Dementia
At this stage, cognitive dysfunction may stretch for a period of 2.5 years at length. Once the patient hits this stage, they’d be completely unable to communicate or move around without help. They’re in need of love and care the most during this time and will rely on their caregiver almost entirely. Their mental condition will proceed onto affecting their physical state as well as cause significant weight fluctuation as well.
During a part when our loved ones are going through so much, they need our love and support the most. This is why AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care welcomes the senior community with open arms in their luxuriously furnished senior living community establishment. We offer the best facilities and standard of living for your loved ones in Woodland Hills, CA. Call us for more information.