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Stages and Behaviors

Stages and Behaviors
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As Alzheimer's and other dementias progress, behaviors change—as does your role as caregiver. While changes in behavior can be challenging, we have resources to help you through each stage of the disease.  

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Accepting the Diagnosis

Accepting a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or a related dementia requires time to absorb information.

Early-Stage Caregiving

Early-stage Alzheimer's and related dementia symptoms are mild and the main role of a caregiver is support.

Middle-Stage Caregiving

During the middle stages of Alzheimer's, the person living with dementia will need a greater level of care.

Late-Stage Caregiving

The late stage of Alzheimer's usually requires intensive care. As caregiver, your role focuses on preserving quality of life and dignity.

Aggression and Anger

Aggressive behaviors can occur suddenly, with no apparent reason, or result from a frustrating situation.

Anxiety and Agitation

A person with dementia may become restless or upset in certain places when focused on specific details.


Identifying depression in someone with Alzheimer's can be difficult, since dementia can cause some of the same symptoms.


Some hallucinations may be frightening to a person with Alzheimer's, while others may involve ordinary visions from the past.

Memory Loss and Confusion

Those with Alzheimer's may not remember familiar people, places or things in the later stages of the disease.


In most cases, a person with Alzheimer's is probably looking for comfort, security and familiarity when repeating information.

Sleep Issues and Sundowning

Sundowning occurs in late afternoon through the night, causing confusion and sleep issues for people with Alzheimer's or dementia. Learn how to manage it.

Suspicions and Delusions

Suspicions and delusions — firmly held beliefs in things that are not real — may occur in middle- to late-stage Alzheimer's.


Wandering among people with dementia is dangerous, but there are strategies and services to help prevent it.