Vascular Dementia Stages Timeline: Guide to Caring Aged Dementia Patients

Dementia presents itself differently in each individual. It does not affect every person in the same way as this disease progresses at different rates. 

Health professionals categorise it in stages, referring to how far it has affected individuals. Understanding the progression of dementia helps make the transitions easier for patients

In this page, we’ll discuss what caregivers and family of aged dementia patients need to know about dementia, including symptoms, factors that affect its progression, and specific care that a person with dementia often need at each stage.

What are the 7 Stages of Vascular Dementia 1 | My Delta Care

Health professionals use the 7-stage model or Global Deterioration Scale as an overview of how the different types of dementia progress. Take note that dementia comes in many forms. There’s also dementia with Lewy bodies and mixed dementia.

What are the 7 Stages of Vascular Dementia

People often associate Alzheimer’s disease with dementia. Dementia is actually a generic term for this condition affecting one’s ability to function safely and efficiently in their everyday life. Alzheimer ‘s disease is the most common type associated with memory problems among individuals. 

As one type of dementia, the common cause of vascular cognitive impairment (VaD) is chronologically damaged blood vessels in the brain.

What are the 7 Stages of Vascular Dementia Vascular Dementia Stages Timeline | Aged Care Weekly

Stage 1: No Cognitive Decline

In its early stages, it may not show any symptoms. Brain changes may already be occurring, but it may take several years before any symptoms occur.

Stage 2: Very Mild Cognitive Decline

In this stage, your loved one might forget things easily and misplace familiar objects around the house. Symptoms may not be evident as they can't be associated with memory loss yet.

Stage 3: Mild Cognitive Decline

Your loved one may begin to notice subtle changes that something isn't right. Symptoms in this stage may include increased forgetfulness, decreased work performance, difficulty with decision making, and slower speed of thought.

Stage 4: Moderate Cognitive Decline

Although not all types of dementia are the same, it becomes clearer to everyone in its late stage. Here, a person with dementia may experience problems concentrating and completing tasks (e.g paying their bill). They may withdraw from friends and family, forget recent events, and cannot travel alone to new places.

Stage 5: Moderately Severe

This dementia stage is where people with dementia experience issues of memory loss. However, he may still have abilities to recognise family and friends and recall past events, but remembering personal information like name, address, and phone number may already be difficult.

Stage 6: Severe or Middle Dementia

Patients may show personality changes and mood swings and often get very confused, angry, or aggressive. This may not be an issue for them, but this can be difficult to deal with for their family.

Stage 7: Very Severe or Late Dementia

Here, a person cannot speak or communicate and loses motor skills as brain damage spreads. Although life expectancy varies, patients may pass away before they reach this stage.

Specific Care Needs at Each Stage

Specific Care Needs at Each Stage Vascular Dementia Stages Timeline | Aged Care Weekly

Your loved one may not need assistance after the initial diagnosis, but then, this will change as the disease progresses. 

Like Alzheimer ‘s disease patients, patients with dementia will need help as their brain cells slowly die and affect their ability to speak or walk.

Early Stage (Stage 1)

Your loved one can still function rather independently in the early stage. Little care assistance is needed like memory care involving:

Middle Stage (Stages 2-3)

Symptoms become more evident and patients lose some of their independence.

Assistance is needed for:

Late Stage (Stages 4-7)

A significant amount of care is needed. Patients may need help: 

Factors Affecting How Dementia Progresses

Factors Affecting How Dementia Progresses Vascular Dementia Stages Timeline | Aged Care Weekly
Several factors can affect how VaD progresses and what kind of help a patient needs:   

It’s important for family members and caregivers to understand the different stages and what to expect down the road. If you’re in Victoria, Australia, you may access the National Dementia helpline at 1800 100 500 for health information and advice. 

Here at Delta Care, we understand that caring for a loved one with dementia can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for support, get in touch with us to see how our care services could help you.

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