Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content

Receive your Pfizer brand medication today at little to no additional drug acquisition cost versus the generic version.

Left Rail Arrow
Left Rail Arrow

Receive your Pfizer brand medication today at little to no additional drug acquisition cost versus the generic version.

Left Rail Arrow

Participating Pfizer brands include:

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease: symptoms and stages

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia — an illness of the brain that affects a person’s ability to carry out daily activities. Memory, emotions, mood, behaviour and language are all affected, and because the disease is progressive, the symptoms worsen over time. There are many forms of dementia, but Alzheimer’s disease is the most common among older people.

The stages of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease progresses through three general stages, from a mild, early stage, through a moderate, mid stage, to a severe, late stage. It starts slowly, and in fact, when the disease begins affecting the brain, there are no outward signs or symptoms.

Alzheimer’s disease: mild (or early) stage

In mild Alzheimer’s disease, the main thing that occurs is a decline in cognition. This means that the ability to think, reason, recognize and interpret is affected, and mild forgetfulness is typically the first noticeable sign of the disease.

  • People living with the disease, as well as their families, friends, co-workers, and medical practitioners, will start to notice the signs, such as problems with concentration.
  • Language and communication difficulties may appear, such as trouble finding the right word when speaking, and difficulty keeping up with a conversation or reading.
  • Poor planning, poor judgment or becoming lost even in familiar settings may also begin to show.
  • Personality changes may become noticeable, including becoming more withdrawn, anxious, or suspicious. Changes in personality, as well as behaviour, begin to appear. As a result, people seem less like themselves — and the challenge, at this point, is to try to connect with them in new ways that engage and stimulate them.
  • A general apathy and lack of interest are characteristic of all three stages of the disease, but they begin here.

Additionally, people and their loved ones may initially be in denial about what is actually happening. Once the disease has been diagnosed by a doctor, though, it’s important to monitor the emotional well-being of that person and offer them support and reassurance. In early Alzheimer’s disease, a person can usually still function independently and may participate in their health decisions and planning for their future care despite the fact that memory loss and other cognitive deficits become noticeable.

Alzheimer’s disease: moderate (or middle) stage

In mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease:

  • The person becomes more dependent on caregivers as mental abilities decline, personality changes, and physical problems develop. For instance: The person can still bathe, use the toilet and dress, although he or she might need help to do so.
  • Symptoms such as the loss of ability to identify familiar people, disorientation about time and place, agitation, depression, irritability, and rarely, aggression, may all appear at this time.

It is important for caregivers to give the person with the disease the chance to do as much as their remaining abilities allow them on their own. This can be done by simplifying the task at hand (for example, dividing it into easier, smaller steps), and by maintaining the routines the person is used to.

Alzheimer’s disease: severe (or late) stage

In late-stage, severe Alzheimer’s disease:

  • A person will eventually be unable to walk, talk, sit up, or control their bowels or bladder, making them completely dependent on their caregivers for help in basic activities of daily living.
  • They also suffer from a number of other diseases and conditions that have nothing to do with Alzheimer’s disease but can be life-threatening; pneumonia, for instance, is a significant cause of death among people with the disease.

At this point, the main objective is to make the person feel as comfortable as possible by alleviating pain or any distressing symptom that they may be experiencing.

More information, support and resources

Want more information and support? Search “Alzheimer’” in Find Support for organizations in your area.

If you’re a caregiver, explore Advice for caregivers for information created with you in mind.

Alzheimer's: symptoms and stages
Caregiving and Alzheimer’s disease
Caregiving and Alzheimer’s disease

Being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can...

Safety tips for Alzheimer’s disease
Safety tips for Alzheimer’s disease

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it can take away a person...

Living with someone with Alzheimer’s disease
Living with someone with Alzheimer’s disease

While Alzheimer’s disease affects each person differently, you...

Alzheimer’s disease: risk factors and prevention
Alzheimer’s disease: risk factors and prevention

Since the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown, it...

Tips for cooking with kids and grandkids
Tips for cooking with kids and grandkids

Want to whip up some fun with your kids or grandkids? Look no further...

Learning disabilities in children — facts and tips
Learning disabilities in children — facts and tips

One in ten Canadians has a learning disability and it's the top...

Dating tips for singles over 50
Dating tips for singles over 50

Unlike your younger years, it’s not uncommon for singles over...

The visible effects of smoking
The visible effects of smoking

Tobacco smoke contains nicotine, which is highly addictive and one of...

Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels)
Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels)

For both men and women, pelvic floor exercises (or Kegel exercises)...

Quick guide to healthy fats
Quick guide to healthy fats

Over the years, fats have gotten a bad reputation. Today, we know...

How healthy is your brain? (interactive game)
How healthy is your brain? (interactive game)

Memory, recognition, comprehension, logic — your brain is a...

Ready. Set. Remember! (Interactive game)
Ready. Set. Remember! (Interactive game)

You’ve heard it before: you need to exercise to keep your...

Your relationship check-up (quiz)
Your relationship check-up (quiz)

While there aren't any hard-and-fast rules about what makes a...

Find great activities your family can enjoy (interactive)
Find great activities your family can enjoy (interactive)

Without doubt, families are busier than ever before but that doesn...

Sautéed spring vegetables and steamed fish
Sautéed spring vegetables and steamed fish

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 10 min...

Glazed salmon fillet with couscous and peas
Glazed salmon fillet with couscous and peas

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 15 min...

Sautéed chicken breast with white rice and sugar snap peas
Sautéed chicken breast with white rice and sugar snap peas

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 10 min...

Vegetable spring rolls in rice paper (Vietnam)
Vegetable spring rolls in rice paper (Vietnam)

Makes 8 servings

 

Prep time: 25 min...

Sliced chicken with stir-fry vegetables
Sliced chicken with stir-fry vegetables

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 20 min...

Grilled salmon fillet with rice and vegetables
Grilled salmon fillet with rice and vegetables

Makes 4 servings

Prep time: 20 min

Cooking time:...

Grilled salmon kebabs with green beans
Grilled salmon kebabs with green beans

Makes 4 servings

 

Prep time: 25 min...

Watermelon slices with kiwi and pecans
Watermelon slices with kiwi and pecans

Makes 4 servings

Prep time: 5 min Difficulty: Easy Cannot...

Mixed berries and mint sponge cake roll
Mixed berries and mint sponge cake roll

Makes 8 servings

Prep time: 25 min Cooking time: 10 min...

Banana crepes
Banana crepes

Makes 6 servings (2 crepes per serving)

Prep time: 20 min...