The more you learn how this disease unfolds, the better support you can provide for your loved ones. Not all people go through all the stages in order and with the exact same symptoms. The symptoms and stages can vary from one person to another.
1. Normal outward behavior
By the time your friend or relative is in this phase, he/she will have no apparent symptoms. The imaging test is the only thing that can spot the changes in the brain to reveal whether or not he/she has got Alzheimer.
2. Very mild changer
At this stage, the symptoms are still hard to spot even by doctors and might not affect one’s ability to live independently. This stage is when the person starts forgetting small things like a word or misplacing objects. However, these symptoms could be due to aging and have nothing to do with Alzheimer.
3. Mild decline
By the time someone reaches this stage, is the time when you start seeing the changes in thinking and reasoning like asking the same question over and over, not being able to remember names when meeting people, forgetting something he just read, and having more problems making plans.
When your friend or relative is in this stage, you should start helping them by making sure he/she does not miss paying his/her bills, getting to his/her appointment on time, and if he/she suffers from so much stress at work, you can suggest to him/her to retire and put the legal and financial affairs in order.
4. Moderate decline
When the person reaches this stage, is when the symptoms start getting a little serious and very noticeable. The symptoms in this stage include forgetting what month or season it is, forgetting personal details, having trouble ordering from a menu or cooking his/her meals at home, and having trouble putting the right amount and date on a check.
The person with Alzheimer in this stage need trustworthy people around him/her to help with the daily chores and safety, along with making sure he/she does not drive anymore and no one is taking advantage of him/her financially.
5. Moderately severe decline
At this stage, the situation starts getting serious, the person might start losing track of time and place, having difficulties remembering personal address or phone number; he/she might even get confused while picking what to wear for the day or the occasion he/she is going to attend.
If you wish to help your friend or relative when he/she is in this stage, you can start with simple unnoticeable things like laying out his/her clothes before going out, keep answering the same question with a reassuring tone, and ask him/her to tell you stories as he/she can still use their imagination.
6. Severe decline
With the constant progress, your friend or relative might be able to recognize faces while forgetting names, mistake one person for another, start having delusions, or even need help to get to the restroom. At this stage, connecting verbally with the person with Alzheimer gets hard to achieve, but connecting through the senses always helps. He/she might love to listen to a specific type of music, watch a certain film over and over, listen to someone reading books and stories for him/her, look over old photos, and/or play certain games.
7. Very severe decline
This is the rather hard and final stage, by the time someone reaches this stage, he/she will lose the basic abilities like sitting up, eating, and walking. You should help him/her by feeding him/her easy-to swallow food, help him/her use a spoon or a fork, and most importantly keep him/her hydrated as he/she might lose the ability to tell whether or not they are thirsty.