Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease – Caregiver Response

March 27, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

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This post discusses Alzheimer’s Disease Stages One and Two 

I promised that I’d talk about stages, and in the meantime, I got a GREAT idea that I believe will be quite beneficial.  You and I both know that there are numerous places that you can get information about the STAGES of Alzheimer’s disease. As a caregiver, I really wanted to understand what was coming next, so those sites and resources definitely filled that need.  As time went on, though, I discovered that as much as I needed to understand the stage and what was coming next, I needed to know what that meant for me as a caregiver.  I wanted answers to questions such as, how would my role change as the stages progressed?  As my mom’s need for care increased, were there organizations I could look to for help with daily activities?  At what point should we consider adult day care and would there be a time that she would  no longer be “eligible” for adult day care?  What is assisted living and is it realistic for us to consider an Alzheimer’s care facility? Does everyone with Alzheimer’s eventually become incontinent?

So, what I propose to do is not just share the stages with you, but also help you to be prepared and armed to battle Alzheimer’s disease from stage one to stage seven.  The format will be as follows, I’ll describe the stage, provide links for more information and then give you pertinent information regarding your role as a caregiver. 

Today, let’s take a look at stages one and two.

Stage 1 is really a misnomer in the sense that it refers to a normal individual who has no memory issues.  I am not sure who fits into this category, certainly not those of us who are parents of toddlers and/or teens.  On a serious note, though, this is not a stage of disease, rather it is the stage BEFORE the disease.

Stage 2–Person has very mild decline that appears as a slight, but increasing lapse of memory; such as frequently misplacing keys and glasses.  The extremely close and observant friend or family member may notice.  At this stage, its easily shrugged off as stress, “senior moments,” or just plain old age.

Caregiver Response–At this stage there is usually not a “caregiver” per se, unless there is some other medical condition that requires it.  In most cases others are not aware that there is a problem.  The affected individual may feel something is wrong and either be adept at hiding it or just not able to pinpoint the problem.

Although there are seven stages, they are often broken into four larger categories such as mild or early stage, moderate or mid-stage, moderately severe or mid-stage and severe or late stage Alzheimer’s disease.

In the coming week, I’ll describe the remaining stages and provide a Caregiver Response for each stage, so that you will know what’s coming, how to prepare and how to respond so that you can provide the best care for your loved one.

In the meantime…Penny for your thoughts? Please feel free to comment specifically on this post, ask a general question or contact me privately at

Coming up tomorrow–Caregivers Corner

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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