What Are the Stages of Dementia?

“Dementia” is a term that is used to describe an entire category of various diseases that result in memory loss, cognitive decline, and deterioration in general mental functionality. It happens because of physical-based changes within the brain.Man With Dementia

It is identified among medical professionals as “progressive”, which means that it does get worse as time goes on. For some, this progression is rapid. For others, it is slow. Its progression is determined by the underlying cause. In this brief guide, you will be introduced to each of the stages of dementia.

Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild cognitive impairment or “MCI” is the first stage of dementia. This involves forgetfulness, complications in finding the right words, and misplacing or losing things. As people age, they may naturally experience mild cognitive impairment.

Not only people with mild cognitive impairment will develop dementia; however, all individuals with dementia will initially experience mild cognitive impairment.

Mild Dementia

In the mild dementia stage, individuals are usually able to maintain their independence. Eventually, memory lapses will start to occur. Examples may include forgetting where things are and not recalling the proper words. The following outlines some of the symptoms that may be associated with those in the mild dementia stage:

  • There may be memory loss experienced in regards to events that have recently transpired
  • Personality changes may start to develop
  • The sufferer may get lost easily or may start misplacing items more frequently
  • There may be problems in performing complex tasks or solving problems
  • Organizing and expressing thoughts may become very challenging

Moderate Dementia

Those that are in the moderate dementia stage will need more help in their day-to-day lives. Self-care and management of daily activities will become more difficult. The following symptoms may also occur:

  • Increased levels of confusion
  • Making poor choices or poor judgment
  • More pronounced memory loss, especially pertaining to events that happened in the past
  • Higher levels of assistance needed in daily activities, such as dressing and bathing
  • Personality and behavior changes will start to occur to a higher degree of significance
  • Agitation and becoming suspicious of others may start to occur
  • Sleep patterns may change such as sleeping during the daytime hours and experiencing restlessness during the night 

Severe Dementia

In the severe dementia stage, severe mental decline, worsening of physical capabilities, and other problems will start to occur. The following outlines the symptoms that are likely to occur with this dementia stage:

  • An inability to communicate with others
  • Full-time help will be needed with daily activities
  • The body and normal activities may start to fail. One may be unable to swallow, walk, control their bladder and bowels, and even hold their head up.
  • More frequent infections may start to develop, such as pneumonia

Memory Care Assistance

If your loved one has been diagnosed with a form of dementia, it is imperative that you immediately consider care options that are in their best interest. Initially, you may be able to move them into assisted living; however, this is only appropriate for mild cognitive decline and mild dementia cases. Eventually, they will need skilled nursing care.

In most instances, memory care is the best choice. These care centers are designed to specifically accommodate individuals that suffer from mental decline and associated problems. For more information, contact us here at Beacon Senior Advisors today by calling the following: 973-713-0096

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