SYMPTOMS OF LATE STAGE ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
* They can no longer recognize familiar faces, even their family members
* They can't smile anymore
* Can't comprehend and write
* They have muscle rigidity
* Cannot walk, stand and sit up
* Complete urinary aand bowel incontinence
CARING FOR A PERSON IN THE END STAGE OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
Alzheimer's is inevitably terminal. You can delay the progression of the disease but there is no cure. Since AD robs the intellectual capacity to make their own decision, it is important to talk about their choices in the early stage of the disease and prapare a legally binding advance directive.
Alzheimer's in the end stage are bedridden and need help with every aspect of daily living. The severity of the disease leads to different dementia-related medical complications such as :
* Aspiration pneummonia
* Upper urinary tract infection
* Sepsis or other infections
* Bed sores
* Weight loss
Hospice care is usually considered in this stage. Hospice care focuses completely on pain management and comfort care. However, it is difficult to predict how long a person with end stage Alzheimer's will live. Usually it is reserved with people who have less than six months to live.
SHOW YOUR LOVE TO THEM
Although they can't recognized you or could not communicate anymore, there are many ways to feel your love. Alzheimer's in final stage experience their connection to the world through their senses.
* Touch ---Hold their hands, brush his/her hair, massage their back, hands, feet.
* Hearing---play theiir favorite music, read to them, although they don't understand the words the rhythm can be soothing too them.
* Smell ---They enjoy the smell of fresh flower, food and perfume.
* Sight---Show them the beauty of nature, the animals, plants, birds, trees, life is beautiful.
This is the most difficult journey anyone can take.And the most profound decision is ensuring that the Alzheimer's most basic need for respect, dignity and physical comfort are sustained until the end of life.
Every stage varies to different Alzheimer's. It depends how f ast the disease progresses. There are certain factors to consider, the support of the family, the medications and kind of care they are getting. Usually, the middle stage is the longest stage, and the hardest one. The significant changes in behavior and personality occur in this stage. Ativan or Lorazepam is usually prescribed to calm them down when they are agitated, but this is on as needed basis(PRN). Family support is important, they need love, care and understanding. This help a lot.
You're definitely right SnowyLynne, a person can be in several stages at the same time. Stages are only given to serve as a guidance or to have thorough knowledge to the changes and progression of the disease. Staging system provide useful frames of reference for understanding how the disease may unfold and for making future plans. Not everyone will experience the same system or progress at the same time. Every person is unique.