Community Blog

What to Expect in Each Stage of Alzheimer’s Disease

By Ketan Shah

Elderly Care in Palo Alto CA

If your elderly parent was just recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, there may be numerous questions and concerns that are swirling through your mind. Each person with this disease is affected in different ways, so their symptoms may be different from others with Alzheimer’s. But one thing that all people with this illness can expect is that their symptoms will progressively get worse the longer they have the disease.

Eventually, your loved one will need around-the-clock assistance from an elderly care provider in order to make sure the elder is safe in their home and in public places. The elder care provider can also remind the senior to take their medications in order to lessen the appearance of symptoms. Although there is no cure, understanding the three stages of Alzheimer’s disease will better prepare you and other family members for what to expect.

Mild Alzheimer’s Disease (Early Stage)

This is the first stage of Alzheimer’s disease and will include mild symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Quickly forgetting the names of people they were just introduced to
  • Unable to find the right words when talking to others
  • Finds it difficult to complete tasks in social settings
  • Forgetting material the elder had just read
  • Frequently losing or misplacing objects
  • Having trouble with planning or organizing

The elder will still be able to do many tasks on their own, including driving, running errands, and participating in social activities. You and other family members may begin to notice memory or concentration problems in your loved one.

Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease (Middle Stage)

The middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease is usually the longest, lasting for many years. As the symptoms begin to worsen in this stage, your loved one will most likely need home care. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Becoming forgetful over events from their past that they should remember
  • Increasingly becoming moody or withdrawn from social situations
  • Being unable to remember their own address, telephone number, or the high school or college they attended
  • Constantly forgetting what day of the week it is
  • Inability to choose proper clothing for the weather, season, and occasion
  • Difficulty controlling the bladder and bowel movements
  • Changes in sleep patterns, such as becoming tired during the day and alert at night
  • Wandering and becoming lost
  • Changes in their behavior, like increasingly becoming suspicious and compulsive. They may also begin to exhibit repetitive behavior, such as hand-wringing or shredding tissues

Severe Alzheimer’s Disease (Late Stage)

During this stage, your loved one will need constant care and supervision. They will have severe problems communicating with others, understanding their environment, and controlling their movements. Other symptoms include:

  • Becoming unaware of their surroundings and recent events
  • Requiring assistance with simple tasks and personal care
  • An eventual difficulty walking, sitting, and swallowing
  • Unable to communicate with others
  • Becoming more susceptible to infections, including pneumonia

Each person will exhibit different symptoms, but understanding what some of the most common ones in each stage are will help you provide the care your elderly parent is in need of.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Palo Alto, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.