The Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

We’re all familiar with Alzheimer’s disease — it’s the disease that robs us of our loved ones and robs the ones we love of their experiences. But did you know that there are seven stages of Alzheimer’s disease? By knowing the stages and the signs, we can help our loved ones get the help they need. According to, the first stage of Alzheimer's disease has no signs at all. The person affected has no symptoms — the disease is undetectable. The second stage of the disease is incredibly mild and can be chalked up to the normal forgetfulness of aging. Patients may forget where they left their keys or to turn off the curling iron. They can still do quite well on memory tests, making Alzheimer’s hard to spot for doctors and family alike. MORE: U.K. launches program to raise awareness of invisible illnesses It’s during the third stage that doctors and loved ones begin to spot the disease. This is when patients begin forgetting words they want to use in conversation, have trouble planning events, and remembering names. It’s also the stage where the patient’s scores on memory tests begin to decline. People in stage three often lose personal items. In stage four, patients exhibit clear-cut signs of the disease, including problems with short-term memory. They may find it difficult to remember what they ate for breakfast or details about their lives. Some patients begin to have problems managing their finances. MORE: How light therapy can help Alzheimer's patients When a loved one progresses to stage five, they’ll need help with their daily activities, but they typically can still dress, bathe, and use the restroom on their own. They usually still remember the names and faces of their loved ones and can still recall details o
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