Alzheimer's Disease Stages

Guide to the Stages of Alzheimer's Disease
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The Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

Most doctors identify three main stages of Alzheimer's disease -- mild, moderate, and severe. Because each stage of dementia can last for several years or more, it can also be helpful to understand whether your loved one seems to be in the early, middle, or late part of each stage. Changes in memory and other thinking skills are the most reliable way to track someone's progression through dementia, but other symptoms also help to indicate the stage.

Gain additional insight into your loved one's stage of dementia, along with expert guidance and community support, with Caring.com's Steps & Stages, a free customizable resource for family caregivers.

Mild-Stage Alzheimer's Disease

Early: You'll likely first notice an occasional repetition of stories, ideas, and questions -- or notice that appointments and errands go forgotten.

Mid: Deteriorating immediate memory loss causes word-for-word repetition of comments and questions to become more noticeable and more frequent, though it may not happen every day.

SEE ALSO: Find Memory Care Near You

Late: The same stories are now repeated word for word at least several times a day; it's noticeable by strangers as well as family but doesn't yet happen continually.

Moderate-Stage Alzheimer's Disease

Early: Stories and questions are repeated on very short loops, within minutes, continuously throughout the day.

Mid: As recent memory erodes, your loved one will begin asking questions like, "Where are we?" or "Why are we here?" or "What am I supposed to be doing?"

Late: Your loved one now views distant memories as recent (such as a deceased parent being referred to as alive) and sometimes can't accurately identify friends and some family members.

SEE ALSO: Find Memory Care Near You

Severe-Stage Alzheimer's Disease

Early: Even distant memories are harder to recall and are no longer mentioned; your loved one may not recognize close family or know names.

Mid: Your loved one may not recognize even a primary caregiver and may talk little or use nonsense speech or singsong.

Late: Your loved one is unlikely to speak more than a few words a day, can no longer sit up, and seems to stare right through you.

SEE ALSO: Find Memory Care Near You

Early Mild-Stage Dementia Symptoms

Mid Mild-Stage Dementia Symptoms

Late Mild-Stage Dementia Symptoms

Early Moderate-Stage Dementia Symptoms

SEE ALSO: Find Memory Care Near You

Mid Moderate-Stage Dementia Symptoms

Late Moderate-Stage Dementia Symptoms

Early Severe-Stage Dementia Symptoms

Mid Severe-Stage Dementia Symptoms

Late Severe-Stage Dementia Symptoms

Get detailed information about each symptom of Alzheimer's disease.

10 months ago, said...

This is going to sound so awful, but i want a divorce. i will still stay and look after my husband, till the time comes when he needs to go in a home, but i dont want to be married to him any more, truth be said if this awful Alzheimer's had not happened, we would not be together now. but this is not the man i loved, and was not for a long time before it kicked in. im not a wife to him i am a skivvy to him. need to get my life back on track if poss and cant do that if i am married, im 53 and... Show more This is going to sound so awful, but i want a divorce. i will still stay and look after my husband, till the time comes when he needs to go in a home, but i dont want to be married to him any more, truth be said if this awful Alzheimer's had not happened, we would not be together now. but this is not the man i loved, and was not for a long time before it kicked in. im not a wife to him i am a skivvy to him. need to get my life back on track if poss and cant do that if i am married, im 53 and peter is 67. Am i so wrong comments please
 Hide

about 3 years ago, said...

WHAT IS ANY TRUTH IS THERE TO COCONUT OIL SUPPLEMENT BEING ABLE TO REVERSE SOME DEMENTIA? WHAT IS ANY TRUTH IS THERE TO COCONUT OIL SUPPLEMENT BEING ABLE TO REVERSE SOME DEMENTIA? Hide

about 3 years ago, said...

My mom is 80. She cannot put together words that make sense. She doesn't want to eat. She can't sleep. She gets up in the middle of the night and puts different foods together like ice cream and avocado, but doesn't eat it. She put lipstick on her eyebrows. She says, "This is not my house". She doesn't walk very far. If it weren't for her care giver, she wouldn't change her clothes, or brush her teeth, or comb her hair. She is very near-sighted but won't wear her glasses anymore. She wakes... Show more My mom is 80. She cannot put together words that make sense. She doesn't want to eat. She can't sleep. She gets up in the middle of the night and puts different foods together like ice cream and avocado, but doesn't eat it. She put lipstick on her eyebrows. She says, "This is not my house". She doesn't walk very far. If it weren't for her care giver, she wouldn't change her clothes, or brush her teeth, or comb her hair. She is very near-sighted but won't wear her glasses anymore. She wakes up in the night, (well, really, she isn't sleeping and turns on all the lights). Hide

over 3 years ago, said...

My friend(Max)is in a memory care home.He was a graduate e engineer and a bright man.He did drink 3 /4 cans of beer daily-and manhattan cocktails on weekends-do you think thjis contributed to his dementia? he is 85 yrs old and has had dementia for 2 yrs.I remember actor Paul Newman drank beer and he did not get dementia-does alcoho; consumption contribute to memory loss? My friend(Max)is in a memory care home.He was a graduate e engineer and a bright man.He did drink 3 /4 cans of beer daily-and manhattan cocktails on weekends-do you think thjis contributed to his dementia? he is 85 yrs old and has had dementia for 2 yrs.I remember actor Paul Newman drank beer and he did not get dementia-does alcoho; consumption contribute to memory loss? Hide

over 3 years ago, said...

My husband is now at the final stage of FTL Dementia. A PEG has been discussed and I would like to know about the pros and cons of this. Many thanks, My husband is now at the final stage of FTL Dementia. A PEG has been discussed and I would like to know about the pros and cons of this. Many thanks, Hide

over 3 years ago, said...

Is here therapy available for early stage Alzheimer's ? Is here therapy available for early stage Alzheimer's ? Hide

over 3 years ago, said...

My wife has vascular dementia. She can not eat herself. She has to be fed by me. She can not take bath her self. She is to be bathed by me. Dressingand groomeing also by me.While walking with wheel chair or walker she is to be escorted by me for fear of falling. Unless some body is present she will not go to toilet for fear of falling. She can not pass her time on her own therfore she wants all the time some body with her. She forgets immediate things. She repeats anything many times till... Show more My wife has vascular dementia. She can not eat herself. She has to be fed by me. She can not take bath her self. She is to be bathed by me. Dressingand groomeing also by me.While walking with wheel chair or walker she is to be escorted by me for fear of falling. Unless some body is present she will not go to toilet for fear of falling. She can not pass her time on her own therfore she wants all the time some body with her. She forgets immediate things. She repeats anything many times till care giver gets annoyed. She is impatient and adament too.She is emotional. Onseeing some body new she starts weeping and she also feels happy.Good part is that her eye sight is ok her hearing is ok,her smalling is ok. She never sleeps soundly.She is practically awake all the time. She can not sit for more than half an hour in the chair due to back pain in the lower weist region. She had burning in urethra while urinateing and otherwise too. With all these symptoms i would like to know what is her dementia state ? This is because I could not do this. Please help me. Thanks. Hide

over 3 years ago, said...

Does 'Severe' Alzheimer's correlate to Stages 6 and 7, or just Stage 7? Does 'Severe' Alzheimer's correlate to Stages 6 and 7, or just Stage 7? Hide

over 3 years ago, said...

It covered a lot. I realize by seeing the early, mid, and late stage symptoms of mild Alzheimer's, about where my husband is on the progression. I think that early, sustained use of the Exelon patch has helped a LOT. It covered a lot. I realize by seeing the early, mid, and late stage symptoms of mild Alzheimer's, about where my husband is on the progression. I think that early, sustained use of the Exelon patch has helped a LOT. Hide

about 4 years ago, said...

I've had mom for seven months at my home ans although i can't explain the changes i've seen them. she doesnt seem to really know who anybody is except my sister. she is incontinent but she was trying to get to the bathroom now she thinks she was already there and we have to force her to get up to get changed and cleaned up. sometimes i will tell her to eat and she doesnt understand because she's almost deaf and going blind from cataracts and glucoma. i get frustrated trying to help her i... Show more I've had mom for seven months at my home ans although i can't explain the changes i've seen them. she doesnt seem to really know who anybody is except my sister. she is incontinent but she was trying to get to the bathroom now she thinks she was already there and we have to force her to get up to get changed and cleaned up. sometimes i will tell her to eat and she doesnt understand because she's almost deaf and going blind from cataracts and glucoma. i get frustrated trying to help her i know she cant help it. she is 85 and thinks she's just a young girl. she cries for the babies that she doesnt have and every day she cries thinking that she was just told that her mother, or father, or her husband or children died. she wants to go home and keeps waiting for someone to pick her up to take her home. to bathe her or to change her clothing she thinks she is being sexually violated. she wakes in the middle of the night yelling telling her children to get down get to bed or get up for school. i get grumpy sometimes because i have a husband with diabetes and two of my grandchildren living with me because of two of my children going through divorce. I love my mother and try to do all i can, lately she doesnt want to eat. after a bite she says she cant eat anymore. give her sugar foods and shell eat -sometimes. she lays on the couch all day amd sometimes might get up and walk around the kitchen table because shes supposed to be somewhere. the last couple of days she doesnt seem to want to do a whole lot of anything i dont understand what stage she is in, or how fast this disease really progresses. my sisters and brothers know but they just stay away because they cant deal with it . Hide

about 4 years ago, said...

I've had mom for seven months at my home ans although i can't explain the changes i've seen them. she doesnt seem to really know who anybody is except my sister. she is incontinent but she was trying to get to the bathroom now she thinks she was already there and we have to force her to get up to get changed and cleaned up. sometimes i will tell her to eat and she doesnt understand because she's almost deaf and going blind from cataracts and glucoma. i get frustrated trying to help her i... Show more I've had mom for seven months at my home ans although i can't explain the changes i've seen them. she doesnt seem to really know who anybody is except my sister. she is incontinent but she was trying to get to the bathroom now she thinks she was already there and we have to force her to get up to get changed and cleaned up. sometimes i will tell her to eat and she doesnt understand because she's almost deaf and going blind from cataracts and glucoma. i get frustrated trying to help her i know she cant help it. she is 85 and thinks she's just a young girl. she cries for the babies that she doesnt have and every day she cries thinking that she was just told that her mother, or father, or her husband or children died. she wants to go home and keeps waiting for someone to pick her up to take her home. to bathe her or to change her clothing she thinks she is being sexually violated. she wakes in the middle of the night yelling telling her children to get down get to bed or get up for school. i get grumpy sometimes because i have a husband with diabetes and two of my grandchildren living with me because of two of my children going through divorce. I love my mother and try to do all i can, lately she doesnt want to eat. after a bite she says she cant eat anymore. give her sugar foods and shell eat -sometimes. she lays on the couch all day amd sometimes might get up and walk around the kitchen table because shes supposed to be somewhere. the last couple of days she doesnt seem to want to do a whole lot of anything i dont understand what stage she is in, or how fast this disease really progresses. my sisters and brothers know but they just stay away because they cant deal with it . Hide

over 4 years ago, said...

A GOOD "BREAK DOWN" OF THE VARIOUS STAGES, WITH SPECIFIC NOTATIONS. IT DID LEAVE ME WITH A QUESTION, THOUGH. I NOTICE MANY OF THE FACTORS, BUT ALSO NOTE THAT SOME ARE IN ONE STAGE, AND SOME ARE NOTED AS A DIFFERENT STAGE. CONFUSING. GEEZER81 A GOOD "BREAK DOWN" OF THE VARIOUS STAGES, WITH SPECIFIC NOTATIONS. IT DID LEAVE ME WITH A QUESTION, THOUGH. I NOTICE MANY OF THE FACTORS, BUT ALSO NOTE THAT SOME ARE IN ONE STAGE, AND SOME ARE NOTED AS A DIFFERENT STAGE. CONFUSING. GEEZER81 Hide

over 4 years ago, said...

My mother is 93 and is probably in the moderate stage of Alzhiemers. She is in an assisted living community. She can carry on lucid conversations with us but will talk about her grandchildren sleeping over or seeing spiders on the ceiling. None of which is true or happens. She cries a lot and can't understand why we had to sell her home of 61 years. She gets confused as to time and claims someone has changed it. Also when she can't find something she thinks it has been stolen. ... Show more My mother is 93 and is probably in the moderate stage of Alzhiemers. She is in an assisted living community. She can carry on lucid conversations with us but will talk about her grandchildren sleeping over or seeing spiders on the ceiling. None of which is true or happens. She cries a lot and can't understand why we had to sell her home of 61 years. She gets confused as to time and claims someone has changed it. Also when she can't find something she thinks it has been stolen. Suspects the caregivers for everything out of the ordinary. She doesn't want to participate in any activities and is easliy frightened by noises. She becomes angry when she thinks about her home and the furnishings. She wants to see them. We tell her they are in storage but most have been sold. It's hard to tell her lies, however, it would crush her to know they are not still hers. She says she wakes in the middle of the night and cries and doesn't know why. From time to time she will talk about my father, who died many years ago, as if he is still here. She has a hard time understanding how to use the telephone. She will sometimes think the TV remote is a phone or the numbers written on a board are connected to the phone. If she has an appointment coming up she will get ready for it days ahead of time and be confused as to when it is even though I have told her every day. I'm trying to be very patient with her but find it very hard as it can be so exasperating. Even though she does not live with us, it seems most of my time is consumed with her care. I feel so bad for her as she is so miserable and sad. I feel like a jailer and have put her in a prison. She constantly talks about moving from there and buying a house. This is horrible to say but I almost wish she was at a stage where she wasn't aware of her surroundings so that she would not be so miserable and sad. I hate to feel that way but I also hate to see her suffer when there is nothing we can do for her. Hide

over 4 years ago, said...

Please explain the medical reason people die of Alzheimers..I am new to this (my husband was diagnosed 2 yrs ago), and do not understans the clinical reason why this disease is termed terminal. Please explain the medical reason people die of Alzheimers..I am new to this (my husband was diagnosed 2 yrs ago), and do not understans the clinical reason why this disease is termed terminal. Hide

over 4 years ago, said...

@Anonymous We're very sorry to hear of the pain you described. It sounds like you may be experiencing depression, which is a serious health problem that requires attention and care from a doctor or licensed medical professional offline. This is not a problem that can resolved in the comments section of an online article. Please immediately seek help by calling your doctor, 911 or a toll-free crisis hotline, such as 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-8255. We've also emailed this information to you,... Show more @Anonymous We're very sorry to hear of the pain you described. It sounds like you may be experiencing depression, which is a serious health problem that requires attention and care from a doctor or licensed medical professional offline. This is not a problem that can resolved in the comments section of an online article. Please immediately seek help by calling your doctor, 911 or a toll-free crisis hotline, such as 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-8255. We've also emailed this information to you, and hope you will follow-up to receive help offline immediately. Caregivers can also find information about burnout here: http://www.caring.com/just-for-caregivers. For caregiving respite, please consider contacting your local Area Agency on Aging (http://www.caring.com/local/area-agency-on-aging) or hiring an in-home care service provider (http://www.caring.com/local/in-home-care). Thank you! Hide

over 4 years ago, said...

I don't know what to say, but does anyone really care? I ve been thrown away and allI want to do is sleep. The pain both physical and mental is too much. AllI know has ever reallycared they areimpatient. Goodbye I don't know what to say, but does anyone really care? I ve been thrown away and allI want to do is sleep. The pain both physical and mental is too much. AllI know has ever reallycared they areimpatient. Goodbye Hide

over 4 years ago, said...

My husband sleeps most of the day; doesn't remember day; time or past. Asks questions like when are we going home? Where are mom and dad? How old am I? He reads all newspapers and books out loud. Always says they put in new words or sentences that make no sense. He either eats like there are no tomorrow or won't eat anything for two or three days. He doesn't remember medication; where he put hearing aids or glass's. My husband sleeps most of the day; doesn't remember day; time or past. Asks questions like when are we going home? Where are mom and dad? How old am I? He reads all newspapers and books out loud. Always says they put in new words or sentences that make no sense. He either eats like there are no tomorrow or won't eat anything for two or three days. He doesn't remember medication; where he put hearing aids or glass's. Hide