What Are The 7 Stages Of Dementia?

Did you know that there are 7 different stages of dementia?

This article will advise you on what to expect of your loved one's cognitive ability at each of the 7 stages.

7 Stages of Dementia - Global Deterioration Scale (GDS)

You will often hear dementia being described as early-stage, mid-stage or late-stage; but the GDS Scale breaks the stages down even further to provide a more detailed insight into the extent of cognitive decline in each stage.

The symptoms experienced in stages 1-3 are not significant enough to lead to a diagnosis of dementia, whilst those in stage 4 will be classified as having early-dementia, stage 5-6 mid-dementia and stage 7 late-dementia. The majority of people with dementia are diagnosed when they are in stage 4 of the GDS Scale.

Stage 1 - No cognitive decline (no dementia)

  • Normal function
  • Mentally healthy
  • No memory loss
  • No signs or symptoms

Stage 2 - Very mild cognitive decline (no dementia)

  • Forget names
  • Symptoms unrecognised to loved ones and GP's
  • Miss-place often used items

Stage 3 - Mild cognitive decline (no dementia)

  • Increased forgetfulness
  • Gets lost more often
  • Loved ones begin to pick up on it
  • Verbal repetition
  • Slight difficulty with concentrating
  • Work performance lower
  • Trouble with finding the right words
  • Lasts approximately 2-7 years

Stage 4 - Moderate cognitive decline (early-stage dementia)

  • Problems with concentration
  • Unable to manage their finances
  • Forgets recent events
  • Socialisation issues including withdrawing
  • Misplacing items
  • Trouble with completing tasks
  • Unable to travel solo to new places
  • In denial
  • Physician can detect cognitive issues
  • Lasts around 2 years

Stage 5 - Moderately severe cognitive decline (mid-stage dementia)

  • Requires assistance with personal care
  • Major memory problems
  • Becoming lost
  • Confusion
  • Doesn't know the time or date
  • Doesn't know where they are
  • Increased aggression
  • Lasts around 1.5 years

Stage 6 - Severe cognitive decline (mid-stage dementia)

  • Cannot look after themselves without support
  • Delusions
  • Forgets recent events
  • Personality and behaviour changes
  • Incontinence
  • Problems with sleeping
  • Forgets family members names
  • Anxiety
  • Forgets important events from the past
  • Compulsions
  • Difficulty with speaking
  • Lasts about 2.5 years

Stage 7 - Very severe cognitive decline (late-stage dementia)

  • Unable to speak or communicate
  • Loss of motor skills
  • Angry outbursts
  • Incontinence
  • Requires constant support
  • Unable to walk
  • Difficulty eating and swallowing
  • Last about 1.5-2.5 years

If you have a loved one who is living with dementia and you feel that it's time to seek support, please do get in touch with our friendly team or Care Advisers today on 01865 680 443 or hello@trustedcare.co.uk

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