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Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s

Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s – Stage Five

Firsthand experience with people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can be misleading. Symptoms appear, the diagnosis is confirmed, and the individual shows increasingly severe signs of cognitive impairment. As time goes on, the decline becomes more evident and more rapid. Alzheimer’s may take as long as 25 years or more to progress from the initial stages to the end of life.

Stage Five – Daily Difficulties

The severity of cognitive decline in Stage 5 typically creates difficulties with basic activities of daily living and reduces the likelihood that the individual can safely live alone. Without help, the person may be unable to identify or prepare proper foods. Their ability to recall vital information such as their age, address or the current year is sporadic. They may wear the same clothes day after day, unable to choose apparel appropriate for current weather conditions. Because they are incapable of making reasoned choices, they can become vulnerable to strangers and scam artists. Loved ones and close associates will notice a marked change in the person’s behavior, with increasing instances of unprovoked anger and suspicion. The average duration of Stage 5 is one-and-a-half years depending on other unrelated health conditions.

Changes in Vision

Alzheimer’s warning signs: Changes in the ability to read, see colors and contrast, and judge distance; can lead to problems with driving.
Normal memory changes: Changes that are related to the development of cataracts.

Mood and/or Personality Changes

Alzheimer’s warning signs: Becoming depressed, fearful, confused, anxious, suspicious, or aggressive; can get upset with friends and family easily or when in unusual places or situations.
Normal memory change: Getting irritated when their routine changes or gets disrupted.

While the specific symptoms and rate of decline may vary, researchers have identified seven stages in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It is important to note that while symptoms described here are typical of Alzheimer’s, confirmation of the disease requires professional medical diagnosis.

If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor right away. Early diagnosis and therapies can help prolong independence.

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