Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive mental deterioration that can occur in middle or old age. This happens due to the generalized degeneration of the brain, and it is the most common cause of premature senility, which is the condition of being senile. Alzheimer’s destroys memory and other important mental functions. There are an estimated 5.2 million Americans of all ages that have Alzheimer’s disease, as of 2014. 5 million of these people are estimated to be 65 years or older, and approximately 200,000 people are under the age of 65, and they have younger-onset Alzheimer’s. About one in nine people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease, or about 11 percent. There are quite a few symptoms people should be able to identify that come with Alzheimer’s. Slight memory loss, like going into another room and forgetting what you went in for, or forgetting a name of someone you went to high school with is common with aging, and it probably is not Alzheimer’s. If you have any of the following symptoms, you may want to ask your doctor about Alzheimer’s, and if that is what your symptoms are pointing to.

There are three main stages of Alzheimer’s, and each stage has different symptoms. Usually, people who are older than 65 go to the doctor to get checked out if they have any sort of memory loss, but it is important to pay attention to the symptoms so you and your doctor can work together to see if your symptoms are pointing to a certain stage of Alzheimer’s. The three stages of Alzheimer’s are: mild, moderate and severe.

Mild Alzheimer’s is usually the first stage, and usually lasts from 2 to 4 years. There are quite a few symptoms that come along with this stage of Alzheimer’s, and they include: trouble with driving, like getting lost on familiar routes, mild coordination problems, like trouble using familiar objects, loss of recent memories, like forgetting conversations or events that just took place, having less energy to do things, a hard time doing everyday tasks, language problems, like trouble putting together thoughts into words and a loss of interest in work and social activities. If you or a loved one has just a few of these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that you or they have Alzheimer’s. There are other medical conditions that can exhibit the same signs, like: stress, depression, drug abuse or taking medications that are not working well together.

Moderate Alzheimer’s is when the memory loss gets worse and beings to cause problems in a person’s everyday life. This stage can last anywhere from 2 to 10 years. A person who has moderate Alzheimer’s can start to forget details about their life, like the place they went to high school, anniversaries, or other details. They may stop recognizing family members and friends. Along with these symptoms, other symptoms include: trouble sleeping, wandering, confusion about time or place, like getting lost in a place they have been before, or not remembering how or why he got to that place, rambling speech, getting upset and lashing out at caregivers, and having a hard time coming up with the right words and using the wrong ones. Some people who have moderate Alzheimer’s are aware that they are losing control, and this can make them more frustrated or depressed.

The last stage of Alzheimer’s is called severe Alzheimer’s, also known as late Alzheimer’s. It usually lasts 1 to 3 years. People who have severe Alzheimer’s may exhibit some or all of these symptoms: Not being able to move easily on their own, extreme mood swings, problems controlling their bladder or bowels, major confusion about the past and what is happening now, not being able to express themselves, remember, or process information, and seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not really there, called hallucinations.

No matter what stage of Alzheimer’s a person is in, it can be divesting for family and loved ones to watch. Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease that can take a toll on the patient and their families, so it is important to watch out for these symptoms, and get the correct treatment for Alzheimer’s.