stages of dementia

Some of you may find this useful or at least interesting:

Dementia Stages in the Reisberg Scale

Stage 1 - No Cognitive Decline: During stage 1 there is no noticeable cognitive impairment.

Stage 2 - Very Mild Cognitive Decline: A very mild decline will begin to be noticeable. A person in stage 2 may have slight problems with memory that may be attributed to aging. It is unlikely that dementia would be diagnosed at this stage.

Stage 3 - Mild Cognitive Decline: Loved ones and health care providers might begin to notice a mild decline in cognitive functions, including trouble with focusing, working, or organizing. This stage usually occurs approximately 7 years before the onset of dementia.

Stage 4 - Moderate Cognitive Decline: People with dementia in stage 4 will have obvious difficulty with problem-solving, remembering names and details, and may withdraw socially as new situations and places are challenging to them. A doctor will be able to diagnose dementia at this stage, which usually lasts about 2 years.

Stage 5 - Moderately-Severe Cognitive Decline: During this stage of dementia, there are many noticeable declines in function, and the person will require some assistance with the activities of daily living. Memory is often quite impaired.

Stage 6 - Severe Cognitive Decline: During this stage, the person will require assistance to complete most activities of daily living, and may begin experiencing difficulty with speech or incontinence. Personality changes, including agitation and delusions, are quite apparent.

Stage 7 - Very Severe Cognitive Decline: In this stage of dementia, persons have lost the ability to walk and communicate, requiring assistance with all activities.

The article also includes 2 other theories of dementia stages.…

Overall, DH seems to be stage 6, but having PPA and not ALZ, it’s different: He had difficulty with speech years before stage 6; he rarely experiences personality changes that aren’t kicked off by medication; he doesn’t exactly have incontinence–he has purposeful peeing in places other than toilets (part of regressing to toddlerhood/infancy?); he seldom seems agitated, mostly when refusing to brush teeth and the like; I can’t tell if he experiences delusions because he can’t speak of them, but at the moment he took off his shorts & Depends and is “walking” around the den with one foot in the wastebasket. He’s acting like he needs to pee (keepos grabbing his junk), but he’s already peed several times this morning so I think he needs to poo, but he refuses to sit on the toilet (I’ve tried 3x in the past 45 minutes). He tries to pee in the wastebaskt every few minutes, but he has no pee.

Like Stage 7, communication is almost nil and he requires assistance with everything. Last night he got up to pee and I didn’t wake up till he was peeing on the floor next to the master toilet. Once yesterday he did the same by the guest toilet.

But YAY, he tested negative for covid last night so RHonda’s coming to relieve me at 9am :smiley: And Krystal’s coming on Wednesday & Friday. I may ask her if she’s available Thursday as well. This summer she can stay till 3 instead of 1 as her son will be in day camp instead of school.

PS–The hubster doesn’t qualify for dementia daycare–that’s for people w/early to moderate dementia. He’s past that, needs more help than they’re equipped to give.

PPS–I’ll get my first good walk since DD & DGS were here, when she looked after the hubster while I took DGS to the beach and harbor walks :slight_smile: And it’s about time to shop–only cookable veggies left are sweet potatoes, carrots, and snow peas.

PPPS–DH is eating a bit less nowadays. He did well with pan0fried salmon and roasted brussels sprouts last night, but I had to feed him half of it to get him to finish.


I find that those categories are not as all-inclusive as they appear. When my dad was in the dementia unit of a nursing home, I had experience with a broad variety of people with dementia—different dementias, different stages, and different combinations of retained and lost abilities. When my dad was at a point at which he could do nothing for himself, and could not talk, he still recognized my brother and me, and my brother’s family (they lived close by, and I lived many hours away). He recognized my voice on the phone. And he understood what was said to him. One of the people who shared his table in the dining room walked independently with ease, toileted herself, dressed/undressed herself, fed herself, spoke…but when her children and grandchildren came to visit (they lived close by) she had zero idea who they were. Treated them like uninteresting strangers. And she would tell me she was being kept prisoner in the nursing home, and needed to find a way to get out and return to her job.


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I think the differences probably have to do with which areas of the brain are most affected. The hubster’s brain is now atrophied all over (so they told me after his ER MRI 14 months ago).

I can’t be sure he recognized DD and the grandchildren when they arrived a few weeks ago. He seemed glad they were here, but did not express the surprise & joy of previous visits.