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Stages of Dementia 

The onset and development of the symptoms of dementia are gradual and so when being described, are often grouped into three stages – early, middle and late.

Things such as healthy lifestyle, diet, exercise, keeping active and creative may assist ways to manage the impacts of dementia – particularly in the early stages.

In mild or early-stage dementia, many people might not actually be aware that they have the condition. The following symptoms may be experienced:

  • Memory loss, particularly of recent events
  • Disorientation, particularly towards time
  • Problem solving difficulties
  • Less interest in usual hobbies or tasks
  • Difficulties with activities of personal care

In moderate or middle stage dementia symptoms may be more obvious and can include:

  • More significant memory loss
  • Needing more help at home and getting out in the community
  • Disorientation towards time as well as place
  • Difficulty finding appropriate words
  • Lack of judgement and problem-solving

Symptoms and care needs when dementia is advanced may include:

  • Severe memory loss
  • Limited or no language or verbalisation
  • Very little problem-solving ability
  • Difficulties remembering even familiar people
  • Incontinence
  • Extensive assistance with personal care such as showering
  • Difficulty recognizing day and night
  • Loss of interest in food and mealtimes

There are many natural effects (eg loss of hearing, eyesight) of ageing that my occur alongside or even compound the impact of dementia.

The success of strategies supporting a person with dementia can be impacted by mood, emotions, tiredness, illness and even the weather. As the carer you may need to be ready to set aside a previously effective strategy and try new ideas.   At other times you might find yourself returning to earlier strategies.

Dementia can also contribute to people feeling frustrated by their interactions with people around them and the environment. It is important to consider the design in the home or public environment to minimize disability, increase independence and reduce feelings of frustration and vulnerability.

Factual Advice Warning: Any information provided in this website is purely factual in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, situation or needs. The information is objectively ascertainable and is not intended to imply any recommendation or opinion. This does not constitute financial product advice under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).