One of the most important parts of developing an Alzheimer’s care
plan is understanding how the disease progresses. If your loved one has
been diagnosed with the disease, knowing what to expect at each stage
will help you decide now how you will cope when he or she needs continuous
care. The 3-stage model of Alzheimer’s breaks the disease down into
three distinct parts with unique symptoms and care needs. Your loved one’s
doctor can help you identify the stage he or she is currently in and recognize
the signs of transition from one stage to the next.
Stage one of Alzheimer’s disease involves mild symptoms that may not be immediately recognized as Alzheimer’s.
These symptoms include short-term memory loss and problems with speech
and language comprehension. Mood swings, depression, and apathy are common,
as are minor issues with coordination. At this stage, your loved one may
need reminders for his or her daily routine, and some usual activities,
like driving, may become difficult. This stage typically lasts for two
to four years.
During stage 2, your loved one will no longer be able to compensate for
his or her symptoms. Memory loss will intensify and affect both short-
and long-term memories. He or she may struggle to recognize family members
and friends, and become confused about time and place. Sleep disturbances
and increased mood swings are likely, and delusions and uninhibited behavior
may occur. Coordination may be impacted by rigidity and tremors. Stage
2 can last for two to 10 years.
Alzheimer’s symptoms are severe during stage 3. Your loved one may
experience complete loss of verbal skills and have problems with swallowing,
behavior, hallucinations, and delirium. At this stage, which can last
for one to three years, your loved one will need continuous care in an
Alzheimer’s assisted living center.
At Avalon Memory Care, our home-like, secure residences provide comprehensive
memory care and
bedside care for Alzheimer’s patients in Garland and 20 locations across DFW. To find out how we can help your
family member with Alzheimer’s, please call (214) 752-7050.