The 7 Stages Of Dementia Explained

If you know someone who has been diagnosed with dementia you might want a timeline of what’s to come. Although every dementia patient experiences different symptoms, the following article outlines the 7 stages of dementia that are most common. This should give you a better idea about what you can expect in the upcoming days, weeks, months, and years.

Dementia Stage One – Pre-illness

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, stage one of dementia begins before any symptoms are present. Memory problems are not noticeable at this stage. If they were to speak with a medical professional, it’s unlikely they would be able to diagnose the disease at this stage.

Dementia Stage Two – Very mild signs of cognitive decline

Stage two is also tough to determine. As people get older their memory might change but this isn’t grounds for being diagnosed with dementia. During the very mild cognitive decline seniors might misplace items such as their keys of wallet and they might have trouble recalling what something is.

stages of dementiaDementia Stage Three – Signs of decline go from very mild to mild

Stage three is when you might become first aware that a loved one might have dementia. Memory loss is mild but it becomes more constant and recognizable to family members, friends and colleagues. This is anything from difficulty in performance at the office, losing a family heirloom, not remembering tips from a class you just took.

Dementia Stage Four – Moderate cognitive decline

This stage is where doctor should be involved with diagnosis as it will become more noticeable to loved ones. During moderate cognitive decline someone can forget something from the news or their hometown. You can also see a shift in personality- someone who might be positive and outgoing might become angry, or timid. It is a good time to get a medical professional involved to help target some of the symptoms.

Dementia Stage Five – Moderately severe signs of cognitive decline

During this stage, people with moderately-severe dementia have symptoms that are very recognizable and easy to spot. Confusion occurs in everyday activities such as brushing your teeth or how to dress for a particular occasion. According to Healthline short term memory is lost. If anything new occurs such as meeting a new person or hearing a story from a loved one, this will not be remembered after the interaction.

Dementia Stage Six – Severe dementia

This might be the most difficult stage of dementia to cope with as a loved one. Assisted living might be a great choice at this stage. Help with hygiene, dressing, and eating becomes more necessary. Your loved one might start to wander out of your view in a public setting or wake up from sleep.

Dementia Stage Seven – Final stage, very severe dementia

At this point communication can be lost, verbally and or physically. They might not be able to express themselves and simple tasks will need to be completed by an aid, nurse, family member or friend.


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Stellar Senior Living is one of the leading providers of Alzheimer’s and Dementia care in the U.S.. Through our unique Rising Stars Program, we provide our memory care residents with a happy and fulfilled experience. We offer a wide range of activities, and use the Montessori method, which encourages residents to experience and do more. In addition, residents live within Memory Care Neighborhoods; living spaces specifically designed to support the cognitive challenges brought on by Alzheimer’s disease.