Understanding the Five Stages of Dementia

By The Care Centers.

The most common form of dementia is progressive, which means it continues to get worse over time. While dementia can happen to anyone at almost any age, it is most common in elderly individuals. If your loved one has developed progressive dementia, it can certainly help if you know what to expect. While everyone goes through illness in different ways, there are five stages to this one that can be marked with the Clinical Dementia Rating, or CDR. By understanding these stages and their CDR rating, you will better be prepared for the future. 

Stage One: No Impairment (CDR 0)

This is the very beginning of dementia. Your loved one will show little to no signs of the condition and will be able to continue functioning as normal. They should have no problem living in their own home without help. 

Stage Two: Questionable (CDR 0.5)

At this moment, your loved one will start to show signs of a problem. They may forget things from time to time. They may have trouble working out problems and they may get confused about timing too. Other people besides you may start noticing that your loved one is forgetting things on occasion. However, since your loved one may be growing older, people may assume that this is simply a sign of old age. 

Stage Three: Mild Impairment (CDR 1)

At this stage, your elderly loved one will definitely be showing signs of mental impairment. They may have noticeable problems with short term hearing. Your family member may also become confused about where they are at times and they may forget how to get somewhere they visit often. At this stage, your loved one may need in-home care to manage their chores, regular activities, and personal hygiene. 

Stage Four: Moderate Impairment (CDR 2)

When your loved one reaches this stage, they may still be able to manage everyday parts of their life, but they will need supervision. That’s because they can become disoriented on where they are or what they are doing. This can mean loss of short term memory, confusion on time, and confusion on space as well. You will definitely need to choose in home care to protect your loved one from getting lost or injuring themselves. 

Stage Five: Severe Impairment (CDR 3)

This is the last stage of dementia, and at this point, your loved one will no longer be able to take care of themselves. Their memory loss is extreme. They may not understand time and space at all. They cannot handle everyday activities and need constant supervision and assistance. At this time, you will have to consider a nursing home or memory care facility.

The stages of progressive dementia will develop over time, but there is no way to put a timeframe on your loved one’s specific case. If you would like to learn more about dementia overall, then read this article (The 10 Types of Dementia). Additionally, read this article (Things to Know about Alzheimer’s Disease) in case this is the form of dementia that your loved one has. 


Tags: Memory Care