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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Huelat

Dementia: A Journey Through the Stages



Dementia is a general term for loss of cognitive function severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by damage to brain cells and can lead to memory loss, difficulty thinking, and problems with language, judgment, and behavior.


The stages of dementia are not always clear-cut, and people may experience symptoms from different stages at the same time. However, there are some general patterns that can be seen.


Preclinical stage

This stage is characterized by no symptoms or very mild symptoms that are not noticeable to others. However, changes are happening in the brain that may eventually lead to dementia. These changes may include:

  • The buildup of amyloid plaques and tangles in the brain

  • The loss of neurons in the brain

  • The shrinking of the brain


Mild dementia

This stage is characterized by mild memory and thinking problems that are noticeable to the person and others. People with mild dementia may have difficulty remembering recent events, names, and faces. They may also have difficulty following directions, making decisions, and solving problems. This stage can last for 2-4 years. During this stage, symptoms are mild and may not interfere with daily life. However, people may start to notice problems with memory, thinking, and judgment.


Moderate dementia

This stage is characterized by severe memory and thinking problems that require significant help from others. People with moderate dementia may need help with all aspects of daily living, including bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting. They may also experience behavioral problems such as agitation, aggression, and wandering. This stage can last for 2-5 years. During this stage, symptoms become more pronounced and interfere with daily life. People may need help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and toileting.


Severe dementia

This stage is characterized by complete dependence on others for care. People with severe dementia may no longer be able to communicate, swallow, or move. They may also experience severe behavioral problems such as agitation, aggression, and wandering. This stage can last for 1-3 years. During this stage, people are completely dependent on others for care. They may also experience behavioral problems, such as agitation, aggression, and wandering.


The progression of dementia varies from person to person. Some people may progress through the stages more quickly than others. There is no cure for dementia, but there are treatments that can help to slow the progression of the disease and improve quality of life.


Dementia is a challenging journey, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. Check out the Resource Page on my website www.barbarahuelat.com. There are many resources available to help you along the way.

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