Dementia can be described as progressing through three stages: Early Stage, Middle Stage, and Late Stage. There is also a pre-early stage called “mild cognitive impairment (MCI)”. Below are some generalizations of each stage and what to expect at each stage. Keep in mind, each person is different and may present with unique symptoms at each stage.
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
There is a “pre-dementia” stage called mild cognitive impairment (MCI). During MCI, the person may have problems with concentration/decreased attention span. They may start to have word finding difficulty. The person may have mild memory problems but is able to perform all usual activities successfully, without more assistance from others. Writing reminders and taking notes allow a person to compensate for mild memory problems. The memory problem with MCI may remain stable for years. The person is usually aware of a problem and may try to hide or compensate.