Beliefnet

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From "Learning to Speak Alzheimer's" by Joanne Koenig Coste:



Clinicians typically refer to three stages of Alzheimer's disease-early, middle, and late. Each stage may be as brief as one year or as long as ten years, and there are wide variations from individual to individual. The first changes that Alzheimer's patients tend to go through are listed in the table below, followed by changes that occur in the later stages.

Early
Not remembering appointments
Not recognizing once familiar faces
Losing track of time
Not storing recent information or events
Getting lost
Having difficulty finding words
Misplacing needed items

Middle Early
Being unable to make decisions or choices
Finding it hard to concentrate
Acting accusatory or paranoid
Being unable to separate fact from fiction
Being unable to translate thoughts into actions
Misunderstanding what is being said
Making mistakes in judgment

Late Early
Withdrawing, being frustrated and/or angry
Losing ability to sequence tasks
Speaking in rambling sentences
Misusing familiar words
Having difficulty writing
Requiring supervision for "activities of daily living"
Showing impaired computing abilities
Reacting less quickly

Early Middle
Losing fine motor skills (such as buttoning a shirt)
Having more serious difficulties with ADL
Not recognizing objects for what they are
Being unable to understand written words
Possibly displaying more sexual interests

Middle Middle
Engaging in repetitious speech and action
Having hallucinations and delusions
Having problems with social appropriateness
Experiencing altered visual perception
Showing frequent changes of emotion
Having minimal attention span
Reacting catastrophically (overreacting, having outbursts)
Needing assistance with all ADL
Exhibiting frustration anger, or withdrawal
Walking with a shuffling gait

Late Middle
Being incontinent
Being mostly unintelligible
Exhibiting a downward gaze
Being unable to separate or recognize sounds

Late or Final
Losing all language
Losing gross motor skills (sitting, walking)
Having swallowing difficulties
Needing total care

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