With dementia, unfortunately, it is a progressive disease. There are no formal stages, necessarily, but we often divide it into early, middle, and late. So early is mild memory loss, but enough to cause some kind of dysfunction in daily life, maybe your work performance declines, maybe you're repeating yourself to family members. Maybe you're forgetting certain appointments or recent events. Early stages can be mistaken for normal aging. But the differentiating factor with dementia is that is causing a significant decline in daily functioning. And it is not what is expected for normal aging. The middle stages of dementia is typically when a person requires more help with daily activities, such as picking out clothes to wear, such as driving, being prompted to get ready for an appointment. The degree of independent functioning declines and people need more assistance. The late stages of dementia are typically those in which someone requires 24 hour care. They may need assistance with dressing and other physical needs, but also with keeping their routines in place and monitoring their medications.
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