Home > Educate > Alzheimer's Timeline

Understanding the Progression of Alzheimer’s

From the moment that it is diagnosed, Alzheimer’s disease changes every life it touches. As the disease progresses, each stage can become more difficult to deal with than the stage that came before. However, understanding the stages of Alzheimer’s disease and the symptoms that accompany each is the best way to provide a better quality of life and to make informed decisions for the future. Coping with Alzheimer’s is only possible through understanding Alzheimer’s.

  • Early Stages of Alzheimer’s – in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, patients have difficulty recalling recently learned information, difficulty planning or completing complex tasks, and misplace everyday items. Memory aids like notebooks and other reminders can help with the anxiety that these symptoms cause. It is important to stay mentally active and social during this stage, so make sure to keep your loved one engaged with games and other activities.
  • Middle Stages of Alzheimer’s – this is perhaps the most difficult transition to handle, especially for friends and family. At this stage, patients start to lose the ability to recognize loved ones, they begin forgetting personal details, and they require help with everyday tasks. Safety and sanitary products become even more of a necessity at this stage, with patients having trouble controlling their bowels and bladder. This is an especially confusing and desperate time for the patient, so it is important to provide your loved one with activities that they can accomplish for a greater sense of personal agency.
  • Late Stages of Alzheimer’s – communication and self-awareness become even more difficult during the late stages of Alzheimer’s. Patients become more prone to wander and express more severe dementia symptoms. Language cards can help immensely during this time, and bright warning signs can help keep your loved out of dangerous areas. Patients generally spend more time seated and in bed during the later stages of the disease, so you should always be sure to provide them with a clean, comfortable place to rest.

No stage of Alzheimer’s disease is easy, and every day is certain to bring new challenges, but thousands of others have been down the same path and have helped create a community and a body of knowledge to help others as they travel down it. Learn from others and learn how to provide the best quality of life you can for your loved one and for yourself.