...The National Alzheimer's Association has developed a very useful tool, or "staging system," to use as a frame of reference when coping with Alzheimer's disease. The organization, however, will be the first to tell you that people are not programmed to follow these stages in a direct line. No matter how much we'd like to "know" what stage someone is in, we can't. One day, our loved one may seem like he or she is in stage five, and the next day the disease may seem more like stage four or six. With that in mind, we'll look at the stages as presented by the National Alzheimer's Association, so we at least have a shot at some order.