The progression of Alzheimer’s disease typically follows three general stages: mild, moderate and severe. However, it is important to note that since Alzheimer’s disease is a complicated disorder, it will affect each person differently resulting in various symptoms and progressions through the stages.
Mild Alzheimer’s disease
In this early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, you or your loved one is still rather independent. Everyday activities such as driving, working or attending social functions can still be achieved. Memory lapses such as difficulty coming up with the correct word, remembering names or experiencing problems finishing a task may start to occur at this state in the disease.
Moderate Alzheimer’s disease
This middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease is normally the longest stage, which can last for years. At this stage, your loved one’s symptoms will be more noticeable to others, and he or she may start to experience a change in behavior. It is not uncommon at this stage for your loved one to become frustrated or angry as remembering words will be more difficult. He or she might even start to refuse to bathe or need assistance accomplishing everyday tasks such as dressing and cooking.
Other common symptoms can include:
- Difficulty recalling where they are or what day of the week it is
- Not able to remember personal details such as addresses, phone numbers or personal history
- Change in sleep pattern
- Personality and behavior changes such as becoming suspicious or adopting a repetitive motion such as hand-wringing
- An increased risk of wandering
Severe Alzheimer’s disease
This late stage of Alzheimer’s disease can be one of the most difficult stages. During this time, your loved might lose the ability to respond, have a conversation or even control their movement. At this point in the disease, communicating can be difficult and may need extensive help with everyday activities. As a caregiver, you might require more full-time help with your loved one due to the high level of assistance he or she may need.