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I'd say it depended ENTIRELY on the person. Whatever part of the brain is gone, that's where a deficit will appear.
Is this a smartphone, or a standard one-piece desk telephone? Mom, 92, never had a smartphone, but can still correctly hold a desk phone receiver to talk with the other party. She is definitely late stages, with some anomalous recent language gains coupled with expected simultaneous degeneration to "attempted/aborted-word salad".
I think wisdom here says that the worst symptoms dictate what stage you label it, but what's the point of labeling? Doesn't help them, or even us. Every day is a new day where we wait to see what happens.
Doesn't matter what kind of phone, we're talking about "Did I call you, or did you call me?" type stuff.
No point in labeling, just trying to gauge what to expect next.
"My mother was all over the "stages" at the same tim,e so I don't hold them up to be anywhere near correct or even useful in the long run. I looked at them because they often give a timeline for the amount of time each stage lasts, but that was way off for my mother, too. I used them as a check list only--"oh yes, mother is doing that now. Ok, mother can't do that anymore", etc. Good luck with your LO."
Exactly that's what I'm getting at. Trying to get some idea of what's coming next and how long it will be. Progression has been quite fast.
Twills, I'm confused! To me there is a difference between "barely use phone without assistance", and "who called who here, I can't remember!" The latter is very frustrating and will make me doubt my own sanity. The former is, to me, the telephone rings and PWD says, what's that noise?, and goes around picking up tv remotes and bits of silverware looking for the annoying noise. Or, in my case, trying to use the Roku remote as a phone (yes, I have picked up the remote, which is sitting in a pile with the tv remote and my phone, and used my thumb to press the lowest button on it to wake the "phone" screen to see what time it is while we watch a movie... all it did was mess up the movie LOLOL)
Regardless, whatever your LO has in the way of abilities now-- those will go away in their own time. Read up on the stages; as said, you can learn approximate timetables. Lots depends on the physical condition of your LO, too. Robust health? I'd bet on a longer life. Surprised she didn't die of her chronic xyz 5 years ago already? Might be a shorter lifespan.
Stage determination can be exasperating at best. I don't think even the "experts" get it right. A few months ago, I got my mom to a long-awaited (5 months) neurological evaluation. They basically declared her as "moderate." Seriously?
But then there is the aspect that they can be in multiple stages simultaneously AND the extra-added bonus that, as caregivers, we live with them everyday and know their ranges; the experts see them for a few hours at most, during which most of our LOs are on the best behavior they can muster. A brain scan that shows the brain is shrinking, bloodwork that eliminates other potential ailments, and you get a "suspected Alzheimer's" diagnosis.
I knew THAT before we walked in.
My point is their stage vs. my stage vs. what my caregiver sees and says … do not align. And the timeline? Good luck. My mother has deteriorated much more rapidly than I anticipated. A year ago, while she was hallucinating and delusional, and her repetition was increasing exponentially, she was physically independent.
Best advice I got from this site re: stages and timelines and what next? Base all your decisions on their WORST symptoms, rather than their best. THAT is where you're headed next. Ugly? Harsh? Absolutely. But spot on.
This might give you a little more information