The Alzheimer Association came up with these stages. There are seven of them I believe. The seventh one being the end or final stage, obviously.
I have said thousands of times in my speaking engagements and here on Mp how if it were not for the Alzheimer Association in the beginning of this I don't know what we would have done.
Every organization has it's plus's and it's minus's. The stages of dementia is a minus for them, in my humble opinion.
I have always wondered where and who came up with these stages. I am sure it wasn't a patient. Someone with a degree in something I imagine.
That's how most of these things get started. Someone, somewhere sitting behind a desk comes up with an idea to catagorize this disease in different stages.
The reason I think this is not appropriate is that being a patient I can tell you that these stages are a myth, at best.
What they talk about, the symptoms and such are pretty much spot on. But where they go wrong is when family members, caregivers and even patients put themselves or their loved ones in one of these stages.
The problem I have is with these "stages" is that I can very well be in stage two this morning, and then be in "stage" four by this afternoon or evening.
No patient stays in one "stage" for any length of time. Unless of course it is the "end stage" of this disease.
This disease is best described as ebbs and tides. In other words, we can go from being very aware of our surroundings, who is around us, what they are talking about, etc. in one moment...and the very next have no idea what is going on.
This can happen at any time. It can last for a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days. Then things get back to "normal".
Course there is no normal for patients, only what I call their "new normal". Many times I can be going over things with Leeanne Chames on Skype and know pretty much what we are talking about...then in a matter of minutes, I have no idea what we are even doing.
Then on some days, I can tell her what I want done, what I have in mind, and others, I couldn't tell you what is even going on let alone have an opinion on what we should do.
And this happens all the time. That is why when you someone or even you categorize your loved in a "stage", it gives the appearance to others that that if they know what the "stages" are that the patient is like that, and will be like that from now on.
Again, no one is any more thankful for the Alzheimer Association for what they have done for us, then me. They simply got this "stage" thing wrong in my opinion.
Every patient is in one of these "stages" that there is no doubt of. But they need to explain that these "stages" come and go. Sometimes they could last for hours, sometimes days.
We are not stuck in any one "stage" that is what I am trying to say. I am not, and your love one is not. The brain is the most complex organ in the body, and to say these stages or to explain them as if one is one particular stage is not how it works.
Any patient will tell you this. Once again if a patient was in on some things, there would be a better understanding of how or if things do work...