Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stages/Progression of Dementia

I read a link today with a scale for stages and progression for dementia. I posted it to my facebook page, but I thought it would be helpful to post it here as well, for those who do not follow my facebook page. I copied it directly from Dementia Care Central; check this website for more information on dementia.

Global Deterioration Scale for Assessment of Primary Degenerative Dementia (GDS) (also known as the Reisberg Scale):

Stage 1: No Dementia
No Cognitive Decline

In this stage the person functions normally, has no memory loss, and is mentally healthy. People with NO dementia would be considered to be in Stage 1.

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Stage 2: No Dementia
Very Mild Cognitive Decline

This stage is used to describe normal forgetfulness associated with aging; for example, forgetfulness of names and where familiar objects were left. Symptoms are not evident to loved ones or the physician.

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Stage 3: No Dementia
Mild Cognitive Decline

This stage includes increased forgetfulness, slight difficulty concentrating, decreased work performance. People may get lost more often or have difficulty finding the right words. At this stage, a person's loved ones will begin to notice a cognitive decline.
Average duration: 7 years before onset of dementia

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Stage 4: Early Stage
Moderate Cognitive Decline

This stage includes difficulty concentrating, decreased memory of recent events, and difficulties managing finances or traveling alone to new locations. People have trouble completing complex tasks efficiently or accurately and may be in denial about their symptoms. They may also start withdrawing from family or friends, because socialization becomes difficult. At this stage a physician can detect clear cognitive problems during a patient interview and exam.
Average duration: 2 years

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Stage 5: Mid-Stage
Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline


People in this stage have major memory deficiencies and need some assistance to complete their daily activities (dressing, bathing, preparing meals). Memory loss is more prominent and may include major relevant aspects of current lives; for example, people may not remember their address or phone number and may not know the time or day or where they are.
Average duration: 1.5 years

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Stage 6: Mid-Stage
Severe Cognitive Decline (Middle Dementia)

People in Stage 6 require extensive assistance to carry out daily activities. They start to forget names of close family members and have little memory of recent events. Many people can remember only some details of earlier life. They also have difficulty counting down from 10 and finishing tasks. Incontinence (loss of bladder or bowel control) is a problem in this stage. Ability to speak declines. Personality changes, such as delusions (believing something to be true that is not), compulsions (repeating a simple behavior, such as cleaning), or anxiety and agitation may occur.
Average duration: 2.5 years

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Stage 7: Late-Stage
Very Severe Cognitive Decline (Late Dementia)

People in this stage have essentially no ability to speak or communicate. They require assistance with most activities (e.g., using the toilet, eating). They often lose psychomotor skills, for example, the ability to walk.
Average duration: 2.5 years

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This chart is geared more towards those affected by Alzheimer's. It's hard to estimate with my mom exactly where she's at, although UCLA said that she was "moderately advanced". The symptoms and progression differ with each form of dementia, but if I were to guesstimate which stage she is in, I would say between 5 and 6.

If you suspect your loved one has dementia, please visit this site for more information on the disease. Or visit my resources page for more helpful links.

2 comments:

  1. A dementia overview is important to those caregivers providing care to a loved one at home; as this condition can be very challenging.

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