Defining The Seven Stages Of Dementia With Symptoms & Progression

Updated: Oct 23, 2019

Dementia is a symptom associated with a decline in the thinking capabilities along with a memory loss. As per medical science, there are Seven Stages Of Dementia. Each stage has a difference when we consider the degree of dementia. Once, this progression is known to the physicians they start with the treatment by adopting the required approach at that particular stage. In general term, these stages are classified under three head namely early stage, middle stage, and late stage dementia. With more research & development, modifications can be done but currently, they are based on the symptoms and are classified into seven stages.

Addressing The Seven Stages Of Dementia

Stages 1-3: No or moderate cognitive decline

Stage 1: No cognitive decline. In this first stage, the mental state of a person is healthy, and there is no dementia.

Stage 2: A very mild cognitive decline. In this stage, an individual tends to forget a few things like someone’s name. It may act as a sign of aging. Physicians couldn’t find any dementia in this stage.

Stage 3: Mild cognitive decline. In this third stage, there is a mild level cognitive deduction. A person starts forgetting things frequently, which is generally observed by family members. The physician has also observed that there is a decrease in the performance along with the low level of concentration. The tenure of this stage extends up to seven years before dementia onset.

Stages 4-7: Early, mid-stage and last stage dementia

Stage 4: Moderate cognitive decline. (Early Stage Dementia) The medical practitioners regard this as early-stage dementia, as there is a modest cognitive decline. Medical examinations can detect the symptoms. The patient finds difficulty in concentrating and socializing with peers and friends. The stage can last up to 2 years. There is a need to reduce the stress level of the patient, as they struggle with their day-to-day activities like traveling to a new location alone or forgetting things that happened recently, etc. Symptoms • Patient has trouble in planning or organizing their daily chores. • The patient suffers from a degree of depression and has low interest in work. • They forget recent activities. • Sometimes they are unable to remember day, date or time. • They have trouble recognizing people etc.

Stage 5: The moderately severe cognitive decline (Mid stage dementia) This is mid-stage dementia. This stage has a moderately severe cognitive decline. The patient needs assistance even to do their daily chores as there is a significant memory deficiency. Sometimes the person forgets its residence address or location and needs guidance. This stage may last to one and a half or two years.

Stage 6: Severe cognitive decline. (Mid stage dementia) This stage is the extension of the previous stage. And the difficulty discussed in the previous stage happens more frequently at this stage. Later the patient has difficulty sleeping. Therefore, the average duration of this stage lasts up to two and a half years. Symptoms of this stage • Unable to recall their necessary details • Increase in irritability and loss of perception etc.

Stage 7: The very severe cognitive decline (Last stage dementia) A patient in this last stage cannot speak or communicate. Thus, they need guidance and assistance even to walk, speak or stand. Common symptoms observed here include difficulty in eating or swallowing the food with increased vulnerability to infections (pneumonia) and anger outbursts. This stage also lasts up to two and a half years, and there are considerable gain and loss of weight of a person.

A Keynote For Caregivers

In such kind of memory loss disease, the person is incapable of using their rational skills. Thus, it increases the level of dissatisfaction and anger. Therefore, to cure, it is always advisable to recognize the symptoms in the early stages and to seek medical treatment for your loved ones.

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