Alzheimer's Disease Stages

Guide to the Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

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'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.

Moderate-Stage Alzheimer's Disease

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

  • More early-moderate symptoms
  • A Caregiver's Guide to Early Moderate-Stage Dementia
  • 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?"

  • More mid-moderate symptoms
  • A Caregiver's Guide to Mid Moderate-Stage Dementia
  • 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.

  • More late-moderate symptoms
  • A Caregiver's Guide to Late Moderate-Stage Dementia

  • 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.

  • More early-severe symptoms
  • A Caregiver's Guide to Early Severe-Stage Dementia
  • Mid: Your loved one may not recognize even a primary caregiver and may talk little or use nonsense speech or singsong.

  • More mid-severe symptoms
  • A Caregiver's Guide to Mid Severe-Stage Dementia
  • 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.

  • More late-severe symptoms
  • A Caregiver's Guide to Late Severe-Stage Dementia

    Early Mild-Stage Dementia Symptoms

    Mid Mild-Stage Dementia Symptoms

    Late Mild-Stage Dementia Symptoms

    Early Moderate-Stage Dementia Symptoms

    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.