The Seven Stages of Dementia
Dementia is one of the most common illnesses impacting our aging population, with millions of people worldwide currently living with dementia on a daily basis. The seven-stage model is the most common method that is used to break down the cognitive decline of those experiencing dementia and can help determine the care needs of patients.
Regardless of the stage, if you or someone you know is living with dementia, finding dementia counseling is a great way to ensure there is support for both patients and caretakers when dealing with this illness.
The 7 Stages of Dementia
Below is a general overview of the journey which most dementia patients experience that can help determine what specific cares and supports are needed:
1. Normal Outward Behavior: During this stage, a person is likely not exhibiting any signs or symptoms of dementia, however, changes in the brain are beginning to start. This stage can begin years before any symptoms of dementia even occur.
2. Mild Changes: During this stage, one of the main indicators is forgetfulness. A person might forget where they placed certain items every so often or a previous conversation.
3. Mild Decline: During this stage, forgetfulness becomes more of a pattern. The individual might be losing things more regularly, forgetting appointments, or missing meetings. This stage generally lasts for quite some time, sometimes even up to 7 years.
4. Moderate Decline: Individuals might have trouble managing finances and paying bills, or forget things like what they ate earlier in the day. This is normally the stage where individuals seek out medical support and undergo a Mini Mental State Examination with a doctor for a diagnosis.
5. Moderate Severe Decline: A person will likely need more support during day-to-day life in this stage. Individuals usually still recognize family and friends and can do basic functions, but have a hard time with things like getting dressed, preparing food, and remembering things like addresses and phone numbers.
6. Severe Decline: During this stage, constant supervision and support with basic functions are needed for individuals. Personality changes such as increased anger and aggression are common in this stage.
7. Very Severe Decline: This stage is characterized by loss of speech, and support is needed for all functions through around-the-clock care.
If you or a loved one is looking for support with dementia counseling, get in touch with ACT Teletherapy. Book your appointment today and let our expert mental health professionals help you navigate the many challenges that come with a dementia diagnosis.