Knowing the stages of dementia is a great way to figure out future treatment plans, but you are probably wondering how long you have with your loved one before they start forgetting things like your name. While everyone is different and everyone progresses at different speeds, we do have a general idea of how long certain stages in dementia will last.
Stage 1 of dementia is considered no dementia. So this stage could last the rest of the senior’s life, or it could only last a few years.
It is unknown how long this stage of dementia lasts, in part because the decline is only noticed in the individual who is developing the illness.
7 years on average
Stage three is when you start to notice things are different about your loved one. Forgetting things like where they put the keys or taking a few seconds to think of a word. This stage can be as hard to catch as the second stage because many of the changes are associated with old age.
2 years on average
In stage four, your loved one is going to start needing help with things like their finances or planning an event. You may even consider hiring someone to help them in their home or have them come stay with you and your family.
1.5 years on average
At this point, the senior needs even more help with things like making decisions and keeping track of their day.
3.5 to 9.5 months on average
At this point, there is very little that a senior with dementia can do on their own. They may need to start wearing an adult diaper because they can’t control their bladder or bowels.
1 to 1.5 years on average
At the latest stage of dementia, the ability to speak greatly declines and you may only be able to understand a few words they say. They likely will need support for their head and help walking or sitting up.
Time is Priceless
When you start to notice that your loved one is showing signs of dementia, it is an unfortunate race against the clock to spend as much time with your loved one as you can while they can still remember and enjoy their time with you. Don’t let the future make your present less enjoyable, cherish this time with your loved one.