I hear other people talk about the stages of their loved one's dementia. I only know what I'm dealing with and reacting as things happen. I want to know what are the stages and what to expect as it progresses.

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Good points above.

My cousin has Vascular, thought to possibly be mixed with Alzheimers, but, I still look at the Stage charts. She's 64 now. I guess, I think it may give me some kind of guidance. And, I think that it does show how things can progress, but you can't always rely on it, imo.

My cousin progressed in a stepped down fashion rather than gradually. I have noticed that her loss of speech and communication issues have been rather gradual, although she was incontinent fairly early and also in a wheelchair much earlier than a chart would indicate.

I think that her memory level is much more progressed than someone who was diagnosed with Alzheimers a couple of years ago. Her losses occurred pretty swiftly.
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There is an awesome video available from several sources on the internet that shows how ALZ develops in the brain, and how the predictable spread of tangles and plaques leads to the stages we identify in symptoms. You can find and view this by Googling Alzheimer's in 3 Minutes.

Other forms of dementia start in other parts of the brain and involve mechanisms other than tangles and plaques. Therefore their stages are different or the disease does not progress in "stages" at all.

I think this short video is very helpful in understanding the physical nature of changes in the brain, whether your loved one has ALZ or some other kind of dementia.
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I knew there was an article about the stages on this website, but with recent changes to the format I didn't know how to find it. Now I have. Here it is:

Remember that this applies to Alzheimer's only.
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Some forms of dementia do progress in a predictable way, most notably Alzheimer's. The "stages" have been identified for this disease. You can find a list of the stages by searching Google or other search engine for Stages of Alzheimer's.

Nearly half of people with dementia have something other than Alzheimer's. Their dementia may not follow a predictable pattern. Early in my husband's dementia I attended a support group meeting for caregivers of persons with ALZ. After the featured speaker's talk many members came up to welcome me and nearly all of them asked what stage my husband was in. Stage? I'd never heard the concept. Later when I looked up the list of stages I thought, well, yesterday he was apparently in stage 6, now he seems about stage 4, last week he fluctuated from 3 to 6 ... What I learned is that Lewy Body Dementia, which is what my husband had, does not follow a predictable pattern (other than like all dementia it does get worse).

My mother has dementia. It is not ALZ and she is not following the "stages" list.

If your loved one has ALZ, then seeing a list of stages and judging about where he or she is can be useful in talking to others and in knowing what to expect. If the dementia is not ALZ this exercise will be less useful or even more confusing.
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