Dementia refers to a group of diseases that cause problems in memory as well as impair the capacity for mental functioning. In some patients, dementia can set in and progress very slowly, often with no symptoms. In others, the change can be sudden and very noticeable.
7 Stages Of Dementia
Here is a look at the 7 stages of dementia that are commonly seen in patients, and the most common symptoms of each stage.
1. No Visible Changes
The first stage of dementia, also sometimes referred to as the no cognitive decline stage, seems to be a stage when the patient will continue to function in a normal way, without any visible sign. During this stage, there is no change in the patient’s regular behaviour or memory. It can also be called a pre-dementia stage, where the changes have yet not begun to show.
2. Small Gaps In Memory
In most cases, the second stage, referred to as the memory impairment stage, is associated with natural memory lapse that happens as a result of aging. Some of the easiest signs that are common during this stage are difficulty in locating everyday objects such as spectacles, books and so on, or forgetting names of people the patient regularly comes in contact with.
3. Difficulty In Performing Simple Tasks
By this stage, there will be some clear signs that will point towards a mild cognitive impairment. The third stage is when the patient will also start getting affected with stress and anxiety, as it will be difficult to perform regular everyday tasks. Some of the earliest signs that you can spot around this stage are problem at the workplace, difficulty in concentrating, inability to process information and work on the same, misplacing regular objects and unable to locate them, unable to remember direction or forgetting familiar routes and even own address, forgetting the names of family members or friends. By this stage, you can take the patient for a diagnosis.
4. First Signs Of Social Withdrawal And Mood Swings
The fourth stage is also known as the stage of mild dementia. One of the most common sign that can signal the stage is a sudden withdrawal from social settings. Patients who reach this stage will now start experiencing mood swings that will be quite visible. In many cases the patient will also suffer from anxiety and stress and will try to avoid social contact to hide discomfort and memory issues. Some of the earliest signs to watch out for are problems in remembering or understanding about current issues, difficulty in remembering things from the past, problem with organising skills, difficulty in recognizing familiar faces and so on.
5. Moderate Change In Behaviour
This stage is where the patient may start requiring assistance in carrying out seemingly simple activities. In most cases, the patient will find it difficult to remember names and contact numbers, or find misplaced objects, or find his or her way back. By this stage, a patient can start becoming disoriented, especially as there is trouble with memory.
6. Intense Change In Behaviour
Around this stage, the patient will start forgetting names of very close family members, such as a partner or children, and may even forget own name. In most cases, this is the time when it becomes important to think about full-time care and assistance. Some of the most common signs during this stage will be a loss in willpower to try and remember things or do anything, becoming agitated or aggressive, displaying obsessive and delusional behaviour. It is often also characterized with sleeping issues and in some cases, patients can also hallucinate.
7. Severe Dementia
Known as one of the last stages of dementia, severe dementia leads to extreme problems with motor skills where the patient is unable to do almost anything, and may also find it difficult to speak. By this stage, there is barely any synchronization between the patient’s brain and body, and the patient will require assistance with every aspect of daily life, including sitting up, walking, using the washroom, taking a bath and eating.
While there is no easy way to completely cure dementia, recognizing the earliest signs can help you provide timely medical intervention and assistance which can help reduce the effects, and also cure some of it.
Full time caregivers can offer constant care, support and assistance to the patient, as well as to the family members by being with the patient at all times. You can book an appointment with our trained and experienced caregivers now to know more.