The Progression of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most terrifying prospects of getting older, as well as one of the most heartbreaking things to see a loved one experiencing and struggling with. There is no way to predict how quickly or slowly it progresses in an individual, nor to what extent it will affect their cognitive abilities. There is no way to completely prevent Alzheimer’s, and there is currently no cure, so educating yourself to recognize the signs, symptoms, and stages is one of the best things you can do.
- Preclinical stage: The brain can begin developing Alzheimer’s long before any symptoms are noticeable. The only way it could be discovered at this stage is with a brain imaging scan. The preclinical stage can last for years before progression.
- Early stage (Mild): In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, seniors can continue to live independently and do many of their normal tasks. However, you may notice some mild cognitive decline, such as forgetting names, short term memory loss, struggling with words, misplacing things, and challenges planning or organizing.
- Middle stage (Moderate): This is when memory problems become more pronounced. Your loved one may become frustrated by their inability to recall things or find the right words. They may also become confused about things like the date or their location. This is when many seniors begin to require more assistance and care to remain independent.
- Late stage (Severe): Once this stage is reached, long term, around-the-clock care may become necessary. They may need help with basic daily tasks, such as eating, personal hygiene, and even walking. Cognitive function may decline to the point where they are not alert or oriented much of the time and are unable to recognize family and friends or communicate effectively.