The Center for Brain/Mind Medicine > Support & Education
Stages & Symptoms
What Changes Can I Expect?
Dementia affects a person’s ability to function in several ways, not just memory. Attention, judgment, organization, perception, and language may all be impacted. In general, you can expect certain changes at different stages of the disease: early, early middle, late middle, and late. However, these stages are approximate. Each person with dementia is an individual who will have their own pattern of progression.
As the person with dementia progresses through the stages of the illness, the caregiver experiences changes, too. Your relationship with your person will change, as will how you provide care. You will gradually take on more and more responsibility.
Think about your relationship’s starting point as a first step in anticipating your own care journey challenges. Are you caring for a spouse, parent, grandparent, other relative, or friend? How have roles and responsibilities existed in the relationship up to this point? How natural is it for you to give help and for your person to receive help? While you will draw on the strengths of the relationship throughout the disease, old conflicts may also persist.
Symptoms by Stage & Your Role
Support – Caregiver Role
Early Middle: Mild to Moderate
Late Middle: Moderate
Stages of Caregiver Change
While no one can predict exactly how dementia will unfold for your person, it can be helpful and empowering to learn what you can generally expect. We’ve heard many caregivers talk about the changes they observed within themselves over the course of this experience. Read more about the stages of change dementia caregivers reflect on by clicking here.