What are the 7 stages of dementia and how long does each stage last? Breaking down dementia into dementia stages helps health care professionals measure the progress of the disease. There are three phases – pre, middle, and late stage dementia. However, dementia is not usually diagnosed by health care professionals until dementia stage 4 as symptoms are not easily diagnosed. There is no set timeline for how long each stage will last. However understanding the symptoms associated with each stage will help you monitor your loved one as the disease progresses and gives you an indication of what the future holds so you can plan accordingly.
Stage 1. No Signs of Dementia
In stage 1, there are no signs of dementia. The person functions normally and there are no signs or symptoms. However, the nerve cells in their brain may be starting to lose connection.
Stage 2. Forgetfulness
Symptoms still cannot easily be distinguished to loved ones and health care professionals. They forget names and are constantly misplacing items around the home.
Stage 3. Mild Cognitive Impairment
Loved ones are starting to notice a change in their loved ones behaviour. At this stage they are becoming increasingly forgetful, have difficulty finding the right words, getting lost more frequently. and difficulty focusing on everyday tasks. This stage is known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and it is essential that loved ones recognise these signs for early diagnosis and intervention.
Duration: Between 2 – 7 years
Stage 4. Early Stage Dementia
In this stage, health care professionals can detect cognitive decline problems during a medical interview and exam. They are becoming increasingly withdrawn and forgetful, have problems concentrating, are unable to travel alone to new places and have difficulty performing daily tasks such as managing their finances and paying bills.
Duration: 2 years
Stage 5. Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline
Loved ones need assistance on a daily basis with washing and dredssing themselves. Memory loss is more prominent as they are unable to state what time or day it is. However they are usually able to recall names of their children, spouse and parents
Duration: This stage can last around 1.5 years.
Stage 6. Severe Cognitive Decline
Stage 6 will find your loved ones requiring daily assistance with dressing, bathing, toileting and eating. They are unable to live on their own as memory loss deteriorates even further and they have difficulty recognising loved ones. In this stage, they will have bladder control issues and have noticeable personality changes such as becoming aggressive.
Duration: This stage lasts on average 2.5 years.
Stage 7. Very Severe Cognitive Decline
At this stage, they’ll usually have no ability to speak or communicate and require assistance with most activities, including walking. During this stage, they will need around the clock care and support of professional carers who will focus mainly on providing comfort and quality of life to your loved one as not all families are equipped to offer this level of care.
Duration: This stage can last between 1.5 – 2.5 years
Dementia care at home
Whatever dementia stage your loved one is at – our dementia carers can help from just a visit per week to around the clock care and support. Find out more about our dementia care services here or call us for an informal chat on 0800 138 4030 or email: [email protected] to discuss your requirements.