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Stages of Dementia

Learn how dementia causes changes in memory, thinking and function.

Memory and Thinking
Mild
  • Difficulty with short-term memory
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor decision-making
Moderate
  • Difficulty with short- and long-term memory
  • Forgets own personal history
  • Poor decision-making
Advanced
  • Severely impaired memory for recent and past events
Language
Mild
  • Problems remembering the right word or name
Moderate
  • May or may not understand what is being said
  • Losing ability to express self and make needs known
Advanced
  • Unable to carry on a meaningful conversation
Mood
Mild
  • May become depressed or socially withdrawn

 

Moderate
  • More easily upset and frustrated
  • May appear to lack emotion
Advanced
  • Appears withdrawn
  • Difficult to engage
Function
Mild
  • Difficulty organizing and managing household affairs, such as cleaning, cooking, and yard work
  • Trouble handling finances
  • Difficulty initiating activities
  • Gets lost/mixed-up when driving in familiar places
  • May be involved in “fender benders”
Moderate
  • Forgets to eat/drink or use silverware and may lack table manners
  • Has trouble selecting, sequencing and putting on clothing
  • Needs reminders for shaving & tooth brushing
  • Unable to apply make-up
  • Forgets to bathe & may fear water in bath/shower
  • Has problems with bladder & bowel
    • Difficulty finding toilet
    • Forgets to wipe or flush
    • Incontinent episodes
Advanced
  • May forget to chew food or swallow
  • Has difficulty interacting/responding to surroundings
  • Forgets how to walk without help; may lead to eventual loss of body movement
  • Relies totally on caregivers for:
    • Dressing
    • Grooming
    • Bathing
    • Feeding
    • Bladder/bowel
  • May lose ability to sit up, hold head up and/or smile
Learn About Our Dementia Services

Palliative Care for Dementia

This type of care is ideal for patients who have any stage of Alzheimer's or another type of dementia.

Dementia Hospice Care

We provide specialized care for those with Alzheimer's or another dementia who are nearing end of life.

Support for Dementia Caregivers

Learn about respite services and how Hospice of the Valley can help you take care of a loved one with dementia.

Donate to Dementia Care

Help us continue our mission to provide compassionate care to all by making a donation to our dementia programs.