Alzheimer’s disease usually progresses slowly and is tracked in three general stages. The course of the disease depends in part on age at diagnosis and whether a person has other health conditions. It is important to recognize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and have an open dialogue with your loved one’s doctor as their symptoms change through the stages of the disease.
At this stage, a person may be able to function on their own, however, family and friends may notice some difficulties including struggling to remember names, losing or misplacing a valuable object and problems coming up with the right word.
Symptoms include: Difficulty performing tasks/planning, forgetting material that one has just read and losing or misplacing a valuable object.
The fastest rate of decline occurs in the moderate stage.
This is usually the longest stage of Alzheimer’s. A greater level of care is needed at this stage and individuals are unable to function independently.
Symptoms include: Increased memory loss and confusion, decreased ability to perform complex tasks or handle personal finances, difficulty getting dressed, trouble recognizing family and friends, lack of concern for hygiene and appearance, and feeling moody, detached or withdrawn.
At this stage, individuals lose the ability to respond to their environment, to carry on a conversation and, eventually, to control movement. He/she will need 24/7 assistance with daily personal care and activities.
Symptoms include: Inability to recognize oneself or family, inability to communicate, and lack control of bowel or bladder.
One of the best ways to help your loved one is by using this Symptom Recognition Tool to help identify, record, and share your loved one’s symptoms with their doctor. Remember, only a doctor can provide an accurate diagnosis. This is not meant to be a diagnostic tool.