18 Early Warning Signs and Stages of Dementia

What is dementia?

Dementia is a term that describes a chronic or persistent disorder of mental processing.

 Picture of the parts of the brain
There are seven stages of dementia.

What are the early warning signs and symptoms of dementia?

Dementia may produce a group of signs and symptoms that become more severe over time. Some doctors believe that the early warning signs and stages include a decline in memory, counting, and reasoning and language abilities. However, early signs of Alzheimer’s (and other types of dementia) may be first noticed by a family member or other person.

Potential early warning signs and symptoms of dementia include:

  1. Memory loss.
  2. Misplacing items (keys, glasses).
  3. Confusion about time and place (location).
  4. Difficulty planning or problem solving.
  5. Poor work performance.
  6. Problems understanding visual information.
  7. Forgetting familiar names.
  8. Difficulty doing familiar tasks.
  9. Getting lost easily.
  10. Poor judgment or decision-making.
  11. Withdrawal from socializing.
  12. Changes in personality or mood (for example, unusually angry).
  13. Can't control emotions.
  14. Problems with speaking or writing.
  15. Acting impulsively.
  16. Problems resisting emotions to use or touch objects while walking past them, for example, walking past the phone ringing but do not answer it.
  17. A lack of interested in things they normally enjoy.
  18. Have problems starting activities.

Some early warnings symptoms do not appear until later in the disease.

What are the 7 stages of dementia?

There are multiple staging systems for dementia, the most used are the seven-stage system and the three-stage system. Some doctors believe that an increase in the severity of signs and stages of the disease as mild, moderate or severe dementia. However, all staging methods are based on the symptoms, and because each individual is different; however, all systems describe early (and later) signs and symptoms that increase in severity over time.

  • Stage 1: No cognitive decline
  • Stage 2: Age associated memory impairment
  • Stage 3: Mild cognitive impairment
  • Stage 4: Mild dementia
  • Stage 5: Moderate dementia
  • Stage 6: Moderately severe dementia
  • Stage 7: Severe dementia


One of the first symptoms of Alzheimer's disease is __________________. See Answer
The seven stages of dementia. Dementia.org. 2019.