I am astonished that my mother has gone from no signs of dementia all the way to stage 5, in only two years. That seems very rapid. I do understand that it's just a guideline, but each of these stages seem to last a year to several years. Anyone else "tracking" their loved ones this way, and if so, has it progressed this quickly also?

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There may have been early signs that she hid well or that you just didn't observe. My mom appears to have progressed quickly, but looking back, I can identify problems from 7+ years ago.
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tracking stages is an inexact science imo. there are good days and bad days. there can be periods of months or years of relative stability but the dementia will be back with a vengeance. dementia can affect different organs and functions. in my mothers case her digestive system is failing more quickly than her rationale.
i do believe that at a point the dementia can regress rapidly. an extremely intelligent person may mask the mental effects somewhat. these are just my opinions and arent worth much more than the keyboard wear and tear..
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