Learning that your loved one has dementia can be devastating, and most likely, you’ve researched this terrible disease to understand precisely what you and your loved one will face. Dementia is a progressive disease, which means that it worsens over time. It is, also, categorized into seven stages based on the Global Deterioration Scale or the Reisburg Scale, and each scale can be described as mild, moderate, or severe. However, it’s important to remember that dementia cannot be predictable and each stage is different in each person, and that’s something that home caregivers will keep in mind. Here are the seven stages of dementia.
Stage One: No Cognitive Decline
During this stage, your loved one has no apparent signs of impairment, and they are most likely functioning normally. Both their memory and cognitive functioning are normal.
Stage Two: Very Mild Cognitive Decline
During this stage, your loved one might experience minor memory lapses. These are usually attributed to normal aging, and they can include forgetting where they may have placed items or trouble remembering people’s names.
Stage Three: Mild Cognitive Decline
Your loved one might be experiencing difficulty with finding the right words or remembering the names of new people. They also might be experiencing difficulty with planning and organizing new tasks. During this stage of dementia, cognitive deficits become more noticeable in your loved ones.
Stage Four: Moderate Cognitive Decline
Cognitive deficits are now more prevalent in your loved ones during stage four of dementia. Your loved one may have trouble with simple math, forget recent events and activities, and struggle with more difficult activities, like managing finances. They can also become disoriented to time and place.
Stage Five: Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline
In this stage, your loved one will probably need more assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as dressing and bathing. Your loved one’s memory gaps increase, and they may have difficulty recalling personal details, like their address or phone number.
Stage Six: Severe Cognitive Decline
During this stage of dementia, your loved one will most likely need a higher level of assistance for their day-to-day activities. Unfortunately, their memory will continue to decline, and they might forget recent experiences and events. Behavioral and personality changes can also occur during this stage of dementia.
Stage Seven: Very Severe Cognitive Decline
In this final stage of dementia, your loved one might become bedridden and lose the ability to communicate coherently. It’s also during this stage of dementia that they will most likely be unable to recognize their own loved ones. They could have difficulty swallowing and will more than likely need full-time care.
While these are only the general framework for the stages of dementia, they can provide a guide to what you can expect if your loved one receives this diagnosis. Keep in mind that not all people experience all of the stages of dementia, and the timeline of the progression of dementia can vary from person to person.
If you need help caring for your loved one with dementia, A Caring Hand at Home can help. We provide around-the-clock home care services for your loved one, and we make sure that they accomplish their day-to-day activities. Contact us and schedule your free home care consultation today.