Some health-care professionals use the Global Deterioration Scale, also called the Reisberg Scale, to measure the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. This scale divides Alzheimer’s disease into seven stages of ability.
Stage 1: No cognitive decline
Experiences no problems in daily living.
Stage 2: Very mild cognitive decline
Forgets names and locations of objects.
May have trouble finding words.
Stage 3: Mild cognitive decline
Has difficulty travelling to new locations.
Has difficulty handling problems at work.
Stage 4: Moderate cognitive decline
Has difficulty with complex tasks (finances, shopping, planning dinner for guests).
Stage 5: Moderately severe cognitive decline
Needs help to choose clothing.
Needs prompting to bathe.
Stage 6: Severe cognitive decline
Loss of awareness of recent events and experiences.
Requires assistance bathing; may have a fear of bathing.
Has decreased ability to use the toilet or is incontinent.
Stage 7: Very severe cognitive decline
Vocabulary becomes limited, eventually declining to single words.
Loses ability to walk and sit.
Requires help with eating.