Understanding the Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you probably have a million questions — starting with, “What happens now?”
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. Alzheimer’s typically progresses through seven clinical stages with symptoms differing for each person — as well as the time it takes for the disease to advance.
Compassionate Support During All Stages of Alzheimer’s
Visiting Angels will help your loved one feel safe, comfortable, and treasured, no matter their stage of Alzheimer’s or when family members cannot be by their side. Visiting Angels caregivers have access to extensive training on Alzheimer’s disease and will use this knowledge along with compassion and kindness to reduce anxiety and stress for your entire family.
Visiting Angels may eliminate the need for your senior to move into an assisted-living facility to avoid the tension of leaving their familiar surroundings. You will receive updates about any changes or concerns. Visiting Angels will work with you as your loved one’s condition progresses to adjust the senior care plan to accommodate needs and requirements.
Here are the seven stages of Alzheimer’s disease and how Visiting Angels can support your senior:
- Stage 1: No symptoms
Even if your senior doesn’t show apparent symptoms of Alzheimer’s, a Visiting Angels caregiver can provide the companionship and socialization they need to stay physically and mentally engaged.
- Stage 2: Memory-related symptoms not noticeable to others
In its early stages, Alzheimer’s may cause seniors to have trouble remembering names, dates, and details or finding items around the home. However, this level of forgetfulness may not be noticeable to others. If your senior’s caregiver notices signs of Alzheimer’s — such as increasing forgetfulness, personality changes, or difficulty with memory — they will alert your care coordinator, who will contact you.
- Stage 3: Memory-related symptoms noticeable to others
Your senior may be unable to remember the names of family members, plans, or recent events, which may cause social and communication challenges. During this stage, a professional caregiver can provide your loved one with gentle reminders to take medications, eat meals, and stay hydrated, as well as assist with scheduling, organizing, and planning.
- Stage 4: Mild dementia
Seniors are often first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s during Stage 4 when they have difficulty performing everyday tasks, wander or get lost, have trouble sleeping, or show signs of confusion about the day, time, season, or year. Visiting Angels can help your loved one by minimizing and managing frustration, reducing the risk of wandering, and navigating mood changes. Because short-term memory is most severely affected during this stage, your loved one’s caregiver will engage them in activities for seniors that allow them to use their long-term memory — such as watching classic movies, playing favorite music, or reminiscing about the past.
- Stage 5: Moderate dementia
Your senior may require assistance with everyday tasks, such as dressing, bathing, grooming, meal preparation, and housekeeping. They may experience hallucinations, delusions, or paranoia or may have trouble remembering friends and family members. Visiting Angels can provide personal care assistance to preserve their sense of independence and being.
- Stage 6: Severe dementia
Your loved one may have challenges communicating, including times when they are experiencing discomfort. Symptoms may become more severe. Visiting Angels will focus on minimizing feelings of frustration, managing personal care tasks, and keeping your loved one comfortable and safe.
- Stage 7: Continuous assistance needed
Due to damage to your loved one’s brain at this stage, their body will have trouble regulating normal functions such as breathing and swallowing. They will need help to move and require 24/7 care. Visiting Angels will assist your loved one with transfers and can provide palliative care.
Contact Visiting Angels for Professional Alzheimer’s Home Care
The progression of Alzheimer’s may have an unpredictable timeline, but Visiting Angels by your loved one’s side can provide peace of mind for the entire family as you navigate the seven stages of Alzheimer’s.