Is mild dementia worse than beginning dementia?


My Dad is 73. One doctor said he had beginning dementia. About 2 years later another says he has mild dementia. How do you tell when it has gotten worse other than if he goes to the store & ends up in South Florida or something?

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Often the doctors rely on what they know about the patient when they say it's early or moderate dementia. If the doctor isn't aware that the patient isn't bathing, is no longer able to take their meds, is missing many appointments, etc., they may not realize the full extent. That's why it's helpful to let the doctor know the real story. Often the patient reports no problems. And if they still know some facts that help them perform well on the mini eval, then, it might seem they aren't struggling.

I think that a neuropsychological evaluation might help give a more accurate picture of where the patient is in their progression. I neurologist can order that if you want to get more information.
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Beginning dementia usually starts out mild. The different doctors were telling you the same thing. Your dad has damage to his brain. So far it hasn't shown strong symptoms.

Dementia progresses -- it gets worse. There is no timetable for this. He could stay mild for years, or he could start getting worse next week. When he displays more symptoms you will know he is getting worse. Getting lost when going to a familiar place is one. His memory may become worse. He may be agitated a lot without an obvious cause. He may start to wander. He may become paranoid. There are a lot of ways he may seem to change.

You will recognize this better than the doctors will.
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