Stages of Dementia
Forgetting things is usually one of the first stages of dementia. However, some forgetfulness is a part of the normal aging process and does not always signal the onset of dementia.
The stage between forgetfulness and dementia is mild cognitive impairment (MCI), characterized by mild difficulty with thinking and memory, but no problems with normal activities. The person usually is aware of being forgetful, and MCI does not always lead to dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease and many other type of dementia are progressive, but the decline occurs at different rates for different people.
Early stages of dementia begin with the inability to perform familiar tasks such as balancing a checkbook, getting lost in familiar places and misplacing objects. In its next stages, the begin interfering with the person’s ability to care for him or herself. Later stages are often marked by the inability to perform basic daily activities like eating or getting dressed, and not recognizing loved ones.