Most Healthcare professionals explain Dementia in 3 stages: mild (or “early”), moderate (or “middle”), and severe (or “late”). Which explains how far a person has progressed. More specific stages of Dementia are broken down by symptoms. Its also helpful to monitor how symptoms change. That is also how stages can progress as well.
Stage 1 of dementia can also be classified as the normal functioning stage. At this stage of dementia development, a patient generally does not exhibit any significant problems with memory, or any cognitive impairment. People with NO dementia would be considered to be in Stage 1. Stages 1-3 of dementia progression are generally known as "pre-dementia" stages.
This stage features occasional lapses of memory most frequently seen in:
Oftentimes, this mild decline in memory is merely normal age-related cognitive decline, but it can also be one of
the earliest signs of degenerative dementia. At this stage, signs are still virtually undetectable through clinical
testing. Concern for early onset of dementia should arise with respect to other symptoms. Some elder over the age of
65 live at this level the rest of their life with some form of mild forgetfulness.
Expected Duration: Unknown
This stage includes increased forgetfulness, slight difficulty concentrating, and decreased work performance.
People may get lost more frequently or have difficulty finding the right words. At this stage, a person’s loved
ones will begin to notice a cognitive decline. Patients often start to experience mild to moderate anxiety as
these symptoms increasingly interfere with day to day life.
Duration of stage: 2-7 years
In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations.
However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress
or anxiety. This stage includes difficulty concentrating, decreased memory of recent events, and difficulties managing
finances or traveling alone to new locations. People have trouble completing complex tasks efficiently or accurately
and may be in denial about their symptoms. They may also start withdrawing from family or friends because socialization
becomes difficult. At this stage, a physician can detect clear cognitive problems during a patient interview and exam.
Average Duration of Stage: 2 years
In stage 5 dementia, patients suffer from major memory loss. They need assistance with daily living task such
as dressing, bath, etc. They are forgetting details such as address and phone numbers. Doesn't know time or date.
doesn't know where they are.
Average Duration of Stage: 1.5 years
Stage 6 Dementia is also known as the "Middle Dementia" as in it is the mid-stage of the disease. At this point
patients cannot carry out daily living task on there own without help. They have forgotten names of family members
and recent events. They have forgotten major events from the past. They have difficulty counting down from 10.
They Suffer from loss of bladder control. Starting to have difficulty speaking. Having personality and emotional changes.
Also having delusions, compulsions, and anxiety.
Average Duration of Stage: 2.5 years
In stage 7 the "Late-Stage" or final stage the patient cannot speak or communicate properly. They require help
with most activities if not all. They suffer from loss of motor skills and cannot walk.
Average Duration of Stage: 1.5 to 2.5 years