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First, are you sure Mom has ALZ? ALZ does progress more-or-less in recognizable stages. Many other forms of dementia do not.

Here is a short video that explains what happens in the ALZ brain to cause stages:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eq_Er-tqPsA

In an autopsy, examination of the brain will reveal where the damage has progressed to and therefore what stage the person was in. While the person is living the best we can tell is by observing behaviors and comparing them to descriptions compiled by medical sources. Even when we can figure out roughly where the plaques and tangles have progressed to, we can't really predict how long they will stay there before moving on, or how long the future stages will last.

Staging is very valuable for research purposes. It is less helpful in day-to-day caregiving.

If you are sure Mom's dementia is Alzheimer's, comparing your observations of her symptoms is probably the best way to estimate her stage. For other kinds of dementia, all bets are off.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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The first rule of dealing with this awful disease is that there are no rules. “Stages” are pretty much meaningless. Alzheimer’s is a “personalized” disease and each person who suffers from it has their own unique behaviors. My FIL was easy-going and mostly cooperative. My mom, on the other hand was extremely delusional and hallucinatory. She could also be combative and angrily emotional.

It’s also a one day at a time/one foot in front of the other disease. One day they’re cooperative and calm, and the next day, or even the next hour, they’re trying to get out of the house or facility and howling that they’re being kidnapped.

The most important thing to remember is to know your own limits. Promises to never put them in a facility are very noble, but when their safety (and our’s) is compromised, we have to let go of those promises and forgive ourselves.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Perform a search on this site or the web for "Alzheimer's stages". And remember what you find is very generalized and only a guideline. Chances are symptoms will not be restricted to one stage, but actually several stages even all over the map.
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Reply to gladimhere
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