Stage charts that depict the declining stages of Dementia have been around for the last twenty years.
There are, however, many variations in the different types of stage charts.
Some describe the disease decline in three stages plus hospice, while others use a five stage, seven stage or even a nine stage chart.
The stage chart I wrote while in graduate school was four stages yet covered the the same decline as the seven stage chart. At the time, three stages plus hospice was easier to understand for families.
Now, with more stages available, we can see how very slow the decline can be. This is especially true for older adults with Alzheimer’s who do not have frontal lobe dementia or levy body dementia as both of these have a more rapid decline. The longer stage charts seem to be very accurate in regard to “typical dementia”. An example would be an older adult who is over age 80 and has been diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
I encourage caregivers to investigate and research various stage charts! Not only will they assist in education about the disease, they may also assist in describing what your loved one is going through!
– by Jacqueline DuPont, Gerontologist