THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2014 BUT WAS UPDATED ON 6/21/2021
I have so much to learn about Alzheimer’s Disease.
For instance, did you know that there are 7 different stages to determine the severity of the disease?
This is something I was unfamiliar with and wanted to learn more about. I’ve read several articles pertaining to these 7 stages and found the most helpful information was on the Alzheimer Reading Room website.
- No impairment, it would be almost impossible to diagnose.
- Very mild cognitive decline.
- Memory lapses.
- Forgetting key, cell phone, etc. Everyone I know suffers from this!
- Mild Cognitive Decline.
- Friends and family begin to notice there is a problem.
- Moderate Cognitive Decline:
- A medical doctor detects memory problems.
- Memory gets worse.
- Hard time remembering their address and telephone number.
- Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline:
- Moderate to mid-stage Alzheimer’s.
- Major gaps in memory occur.
- Forget where they are and the date.
- Needs some help with daily activities.
- Severe Cognitive Decline:
- Memory continues to get worse.
- Loses awareness of recent experiences.
- Occasionally forgets the names of the people closest to them.
- Needs help with the handling of details of going to the bathroom, incontinence becomes a problem, personality changes and changes in behavior become a problem.
- Very Severe Cognitive Decline:
- Final stage.
- Loses the ability to respond to their environment.
- The ability to speak.
- The patient needs help eating, going to the bathroom.
- Unable to hold their own head up or to smile.
- Reflexes become abnormal and muscles grow rigid.
- Swallowing is impaired.
From the different articles, I have read AD is a slow and gradual disease that lasts from 8 to 10 years. There is not a test that can diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s can be narrowed down through medical history, certain tests like the SAGE test, and an MRI of the brain. It is a scary diagnosis for the patient as well as the family. It means big changes are coming and you need to come up with a plan immediately.