Alzheimer’s Disease

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. It is a progressive disease. This means it gets worse over time and continues to progress for the rest of a person’s life. That’s why it is important to recognize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease sooner rather than later and discuss treatment options with a healthcare provider.

How does Alzheimer’s disease progress?

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss may be mild. Symptoms in this stage may include getting confused in familiar places and taking longer than usual to complete normal daily tasks. The disease progresses at different rates in different people. Generally, patients with moderate Alzheimer’s disease experience the fastest rate of decline. As a caregiver, you know the person you’re caring for better than anyone. Tell the healthcare provider if you notice any changes in symptoms. As the disease progresses, the healthcare provider might talk about the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease as occurring in moderate and severe stages.

What are the symptoms of the moderate and severe stages of Alzheimer’s disease?

As symptoms progress – or worsen – your loved one will move through different stages of the disease. The table below provides examples of the symptoms at the moderate and severe stages.


Signs and symptoms of moderate Alzheimer’s disease may include:

  • Increased memory loss and confusion
  • Problems recognizing family and friends
  • Continuously repeating stories, favorite wants, or motions
  • Difficulty doing things that have multiple steps, like getting dressed
  • Lack of concern for hygiene and appearance


Signs and symptoms of severe Alzheimer’s disease may include:

  • Inability to recognize oneself or family
  • Inability to communicate
  • Lack of control over bowel and bladder
  • Groaning, moaning, or grunting
  • Needing help with all activities of daily living

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