For example, a patient may have trouble finding the name for an object that she knows, gets lost driving on a well-known route, or misplacing items.
While a patient with mild cognitive impairment may take longer to perform a task, a patient with early stage dementia can have difficulty completing it. Examples include balancing a checkbook or playing a game.
Changes in personality and mood may occur during early stage dementia. For example, the patient may lose interest in activities she used to enjoy. Other symptoms include a flat mood and a loss of social skills.
Moderate Stage Dementia
As the dementia progresses to moderate stage, the symptoms become more noticeable. With memory, the patient may have trouble remembering not only new information, but past information, which can include details of her life.
Language problems become more significant, impairing reading, writing, speaking and word pronunciation. Better Health Channel stated that a patient may confuse family members or forget names. The patient may have difficulty now performing basic tasks, like preparing meals for herself.
Sleep can also become affected, with the patient waking up at night. Judgment problems, such as not being able to recognize danger, may occur. A patient with moderate stage dementia may also have significant behavioral changes, such as withdrawing from social contact, agitation, depression and violent behavior. MedlinePlus noted that some patients may have hallucinations or delusions.
Severe Stage Dementia
The last stage of dementia, severe dementia, is devastating for the patient and her family. The patient cannot recognize her family, understand language, or care for herself. She will need total care, as she may be confined to a wheelchair or have uncontrolled movements, incontinence or trouble remembering if she ate. Behaviorally, the patient may be aggressive. Better Health Channel noted in the final weeks or months of the disease, the patient will be bedridden.
Cleveland Clinic. Types of Dementia. Web. 5 September 2011