What Are the Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease?

By 9  am on

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, just over 5.7 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. Even though there’s no permanent cure for this disorder, a long-term treatment plan may slow its progression and minimize some of the worst symptoms. Here’s a quick overview of what can be expected during each of the stages of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Zero Impairment

There’s no impairment during the first stage of Alzheimer’s, but the disorder is already damaging the brain. Plaques and proteins begin to mangle neural pathways and brain cells. A neurologist can carry out a variety of tests to determine a senior’s Alzheimer’s risk, but an accurate diagnosis won’t be possible until all the symptoms are present. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care Cincinnati, a leading provider of senior home care families may trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Very Mild Cognitive Decline

The initial symptoms are usually very mild, and most adults attribute them to age-related cognitive decline. Seniors might even score well on cognitive tests or be able to hold down challenging jobs during the second stage of Alzheimer’s. They’ll most likely only notice small issues, such as misplacing their car keys or losing the television remote. 

Mild Cognitive Decline

Most of the symptoms during the mild cognitive decline stage won’t be prominent, but friends and family members might notice some minor issues. A doctor or neurologist should be able to make a preliminary diagnosis during this stage. Seniors may have a difficult time finding the right words during conversations or forget some of their possessions. Part-time caregiving assistance is sometimes needed during the third stage, but seniors should be able to live on their own. 

During the mild cognitive decline stage, older adults may face difficulty managing daily tasks. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of at-home care. Cincinnati Assisting Hands Home Care Cincinnati provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Moderate Cognitive Decline

In the fourth stage, the symptoms will be apparent to anyone who interacts with the senior. Everyday tasks such as running errands and making meals may no longer be possible without assistance. Seniors might not require around-the-clock care, but they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. 

Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline

By the fifth stage, most seniors with Alzheimer’s need full-time assistance from a spouse, loved one, or professional caregiver. Older adults may no longer be able to get dressed on their own or remember basic personal information, which is why it’s so important for them to remain in safe and comfortable environments with loved ones nearby. 

Severe Cognitive Decline

Those who are in the sixth stage of Alzheimer’s generally need professional care at all times. Even though the symptoms are severe during this stage, seniors might still enjoy interacting with their loved ones. Listening to their favorite music or looking through old photos could put seniors at ease and minimize some of the other symptoms. 

Very Severe Cognitive Decline

In the final stage of the disorder, seniors may no longer be able to communicate or interact with their environments. The primary goal during this stage is to keep seniors as comfortable as possible, which includes feeding them, dressing them, and carrying out daily hygiene tasks. 

The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges may be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Cincinnati Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 513-993-5025 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.