Alzheimer's StagesAlzheimer’s Stages

Many times we are asked what are the Alzheimer’s stages, what to expect, and if it’s too late for in-home memory care.  The answer is simply that it’s never too early or too late to begin care.  Regardless of the stage, there are tremendous benefits of care in your loved one’s home.  As memories are fading, having the mementos collected through their life surrounding them can provide a sense of comfort and can help keep them connected and engaged in life.  

  • Earlier stimulation of memory and cognitive stimulation helps keep the individual sharper.  Additionally, as the disease progresses, individuals tend to become more introverted and embarrassed over memory lapses.   Companionship and reassurance assists in avoiding depression.
  • In later stages, our memory care can provide stimulation and engagement which improves quality of life.

The chart below depicts average behaviors over time.  Every individual is unique and may have different experiences over the various Alzheimer’s stages.

Pre-Diagnosis Mild Moderate Severe End Stage
0 – 2 Years 3-4 Years 5-6 Years 7-8 Years 9-10 Years
Mild cognitive impairment Memory problems become noticeable. Diagnosis usually occurs during this stage Confused most of the time. Assistance is required Memories of past becomes more faded and unaware of recent happenings Severe cognitive impairment

•Unable to remember the names of new people

•Items may “get lost”

•Anxious or uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings

•Possible denial that anything is wrong

•Other’s may not notice changes in behavior

•Current events are easily forgotten

•Tasks such as grocery shopping become too difficult

•Interests and hobbies are abandoned

•Prompting to have a shower or groom may be needed

•Possible withdrawal from situations that may be challenging

•Possibly isolate themselves to avoid embarrassment

•May be in denial

•Mood appears flat

•Behavioral problems may begin

•Unable to remember important things, such as address, phone #, names of family members

•Unaware of date / location

•Sleep disturbances

•Will lose ability to go to the toilet without assistance by stage end

•May become agitated, Isolated, sad, or anxious

•May have delusions, hallucinations or paranoia (theft or imposters), wandering

•Behavioral problems may become exacerbated by infections

•Usually recalls own name but can’t remember spouse’s

•Inability to solve problems

•Will become fully incontinent by stage end

•Unable to bathe, dress, groom without assistance

•May develop fear of bathing

•Difficulty walking and fall risk

•Difficulty swallowing

•Delusions and or/hallucinations, wandering may continue

•May demonstrate aggressive behaviors, anxiousness, and depression


•Unable to talk, but may scream at times

•Only recognizes spouse or regular caregiver

•Fully incontinent

•Unable to walk

•May be resistive to care (hitting or biting)

•Difficulty swallowing

•Increases in infections

•Increasingly frail/weight loss



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