About 6 to 8 percent senior citizens, above the age of 65 years, suffer from dementia. The disease progresses with age. About 30 percent of dementia patients are over 85 years of age. There are seven stages of dementia.
Stages of dementia:
First stage of dementia:
In the first or earliest stage of dementia, there is no sign of cognitive impairment. Even medical professionals could not diagnose symptoms of memory loss or decline in normal cognitive function at the early stage of dementia.
Second stage of dementia:
Very mild cognitive impairment occurs during the second stage of dementia. Mild memory loss such as forgetting known words or names and unable to locate objects of daily use are signs of early dementia.
Third stage of dementia:
The mild memory loss during the third stage of dementia is often observed by close friends and family members. During clinical testing, the problems with memory could be diagnosed. In the third stage of dementia, the patient has trouble remembering familiar words and names.
They have trouble recollecting names of people newly introduced to them. Soon after reading a passage, they could not recollect a significant portion of the article. Their performance at workplace declines. The patient could not plan or take decisions. They frequently misplace or lose objects.
Fourth stage of dementia:
In the fourth stage of dementia, the patient experiences moderate cognitive decline. The patient could not remember recent incidents. He/she fails to perform complex or challenging tasks. The patient avoids social gatherings.
Fifth stage of dementia:
Moderate cognitive decline in this stage of dementia forces the dementia patient to ask for assistance in performing regular activities. The patient could not remember his/her current phone number and address.
The patient appears to be in a state of confusion. However, in this stage of dementia, the patient could still remember the name of his/her children, spouse and close friends. The dementia patient does not need help for eating or using the toilet.
Sixth stage of dementia:
This is the severe stage of cognitive decline. The patient needs assistance for dressing and using the toilet. Delusion, hallucinations, suspicion and repetitive behavior are common signs of severe dementia. However, at this stage the patient could recall his/her name.
Seventh stage of dementia:
The last stage of dementia is characterized by loss in ability to communicate. The patient might fail to walk or sit without support.