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Alzheimer's

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Persevering Through Mid-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
By Kristine Dwyer, Staff Writer

(Page 2 of 6)

 

Stage 4:  Moderate cognitive decline
(Mild or early-stage Alzheimer's disease)
At this stage, a careful medical interview detects clear-cut deficiencies in the following areas:

  •  Decreased knowledge of recent occasions or current events
  • Impaired ability to perform challenging mental arithmetic; for example, to count backward from 75 by 7s
  • Decreased capacity to perform complex tasks, such as planning dinner for guests, paying bills and managing finances
  • Reduced memory of personal history
  • The affected individual may seem subdued and withdrawn, especially in socially or mentally challenging situations

Stage 5:  Moderately severe cognitive decline
(Moderate or mid-stage Alzheimer's disease)
Major gaps in memory and deficits in cognitive function emerge. Some assistance with day-to-day activities becomes essential. At this stage, individuals may:

  • Be unable during a medical interview to recall such important details as their current address, their telephone number or the name of the high school or college from which they graduated
  • Become confused about where they are or about the date, day of the week or season
  • Have trouble with less challenging mental arithmetic; for example, counting backward from 40 by 4s or from 20 by 2s
  • Need help choosing proper clothing for the season or the occasion
  • Usually require no assistance with eating or using the toilet

Stage 6:  Severe cognitive decline
(Moderately severe or mid-stage Alzheimer's disease)
Memory difficulties continue to worsen, significant personality changes may emerge and affected individuals need extensive help with daily activities. At this stage, individuals may:

  •  Lose most awareness of recent experiences and events as well as of their surroundings
  • Recollect their personal history imperfectly, although they generally recall their own name
  • Occasionally forget the name of their spouse or primary caregiver,  but generally can distinguish familiar from unfamiliar faces
  • Need help getting dressed properly; without supervision, may make errors such as putting pajamas over daytime clothes or shoes on wrong feet
  • Experience disruption of their normal sleep/waking cycle
    Need help with handling details of toileting (flushing toilet, wiping, and disposing of tissue properly)
  • Have increasing episodes of urinary or bowel incontinence
  • Experience significant personality changes and behavioral symptoms, including suspiciousness and delusions (for example, believing that their caregiver is an impostor); hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not really there); or compulsive, repetitive behaviors such as hand-wringing or tissue shredding
  • Tend to wander and become lost

 

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