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7 Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

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7 Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

By Carol Bradley Bursack,

It’s instinctive to want a map. Where’s the next turn? What’s the next step? It’s a human thought pattern. We at least think we want to know what happens next.

The Caregivers’ Guide to Alzheimer’s

After we find out that a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease (or any other disease) it’s only natural to research it. What can we expect and when can we expect it?

The National Alzheimer’s Association has developed a very useful tool, or “staging system,” to use as a frame of reference when coping with Alzheimer’s disease. The organization, however, will be the first to tell you that people are not programmed to follow these stages in a direct line. No matter how much we’d like to “know” what stage someone is in, we can’t. One day, our loved one may seem like he or she is in stage five, and the next day the disease may seem more like stage four or six. With that in mind, we’ll look at the stages as presented by the National Alzheimer’s Association, so we at least have a shot at some order.

Read more:
When a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Doesn’t Recognize You
10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
How To Tell Family That Mom or Dad has Alzheimer’s Disease

The 7 Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease originally appeared on

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6:20AM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

Thanks for the information - I needed this.

1:07PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

thnx for this

2:20AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

I don't care for putting 'labels" on people and really believe that we can help best by just accepting people as they are, where they are, when they're there! The whole world would be in better shape if we followed this idea! Thanks for all the help though!

1:07AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012


and I am preparing the best I can for that. It is all the disease. When she gets frustrated, which happens less and less now, I remind her it is all the disease and there is nothing we can do except laugh at the world.

I am determined that she will have as much happiness as she can so we do things like go out for dinner and hang anybody that has a problem with the way she eats. One thing now, the staff love her and she loves them --- she always wants to give hugs etc. But it is still hard to see her die a little bit each and every day.

1:04AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

My mother will be 84 in 10 weeks and she has had Alzheimer's/dementia for the past 5 years (since diagnosis) but really for longer. When she was diagnosed, I put her in assisted living and she thrived in that environment, but this past March, I had to move her to a full care dementia unit because she could no longer bathe or dress herself. One of the things that really helped her was the regular routine. But now that is no longer helpful. My mother is essentially a 2 year old in an 84 year old body. Physically she is pretty good and I insist that the staff at the centre "kick her butt" if she doesn't want to do exercises.
She is unable to bathe or dress, brush her teeth, or toilet herself, she has started eating with her fingers as even using a spoon is too difficult to grasp.

Shan D said " was her body that had died - my *real* grandmother had died months before...." and I agree. Watching a loved one with Alzheimer's/dementia is like watching a person die a little bit every day. There will be good days where there is some clarity, but as the disease progresses they are fewer and fewer. My mother still knows me and her face lights up whenever she sees me which is once or twice a week. We have outings --- usually to doctor or dentist or a massage and then for supper. We have one place we go so they know what is happening and are so supportive if she spills something or eats with her fingers. But I know that the time will come when she doesn't know me and I

12:18PM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Thanks for the article.

6:54AM PDT on Jul 13, 2012

it IS horrible and I hope a cure is found soon... both my Mom and my mother-in-law have it... they are old and the doctors here aren't very up-to-date with treatment.... from the article, they are mid.stage...thanks for an interesting and informative article..

2:34AM PDT on Mar 24, 2012

Thanks for the article.

10:23AM PST on Jan 8, 2012

My dad had Alzheimer's and it's a horrible disease...

10:15AM PST on Dec 4, 2011

this is a horrible diease and i do mean horrible. i worked as a nurse on an alz ward and to see the elderly like this broke my heart. then when my dad was in his 50's he started stage 1 in the alz process. by the time he was in his early 60's and late 50's his symptoms were horrible. we were told he had the early onset form of alz. his health went down hill fast. he died in the hosp with multi organ failure due to alz. it was horrible seeing my dad in this condition

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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