Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s – Stage Six
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 Six – Severe Decline
Symptoms at this stage are severe enough to jeopardize the individual’s well-being. Early signs of Stage 6 include an inability to dress without assistance; i.e., dressing backwards or putting street clothes overnight clothes. Hygiene and cleanliness become issues. The person may be unable to brush their teeth or adjust the temperature of bathwater. As the disease progresses, they become incontinent and require assistance with all aspects of toileting. Because of the severity of their decline, they may display little or no knowledge of current circumstances, and may confuse loved ones with deceased relatives, or forget the names of their parents or spouse. They exhibit difficulty in speaking. Their fear and frustration can trigger emotional outbursts and aggressive behavior. Stage 6 lasts an average of two-and-a-half years depending on other unrelated health conditions.