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Alzheimer's Disease Health Center

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7 Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

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Stage 5: Moderately Severe Decline

Your loved one might start to lose track of where he is and what time it is. He might have trouble remembering his address, phone number, or where he went to school. He could get confused about what kind of clothes to wear for the day or season.

You can help by laying out his clothing in the morning. It can help him dress by himself and keep a sense of independence.

If he repeats the same question, answer with an even, reassuring voice. He might be asking the question less to get an answer and more to just know you're there.

Even if your loved one can't remember facts and details, he might still be able to tell a story. Invite him to use his imagination at those times.

Stage 6: Severe Decline

As Alzheimer's progresses, your loved one might recognize faces but forget names. He might also mistake a person for someone else, for instance, thinking his wife is his mother. Delusions might a set in, such as thinking he needs to go to work even though he no longer has a job.

You might need to help him go to the bathroom.

It might be hard to talk, but you can still connect with him through the senses. Many people with Alzheimer's love hearing music, being read to, or looking over old photos.

Stage 7: Very Severe Decline

Many basic abilities in a person with Alzheimer's, such as eating, walking, and sitting up, fade during this period. You can stay involved by feeding your loved one with soft, easy-to-swallow food, helping him use a spoon, and making sure he drinks. This is important, as many people at this stage can no longer tell when they're thirsty.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on January 29, 2015
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