Questions re: late stages of AD

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/21/2014 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
This is my first time posting. My father in law is 78 and he was
Diagnosed about two years ago with AD. He has been
Progressing quickly and as of lately he has really gone
"Down hill". He has been in and out of rehab two times
Due to pressure wounds. (He hasnt been able to walk
Due to hip/feet/leg issues) he has also been in the hospital
Twice due to surgery for his pressure wounds.
He was living in an assisted living home but
he can not go back bc he needs a higher level of care.
Being that his routine has been changing and he's been
In and out of different places he seems very confused, more
than normal. He does not eat on his own anymore,
he pockets his food so he is on a purée diet. He really
Can not do anything at all on his own. He doesn't speak much and when he does he whispers. He also sleeps a lot.
As if recent he is not interested in anything at all such as the
TV ( he used to want it on even though he didn't follow it) he
also hardly speaks to us. Instead he has just been staring at us
With an angry look on his face. He only has our family, which is
Myself, his son and our four children. Other family
Members have chosen to not be part of his life or help with
Anything for that matter. If has been a big struggle as
He is financially dependent on us for some time now.
My question is ; does this seem like late stages and what
Is the average progression at this point. He sometimes knows
Our names but lately it seems he may
not. He was seeing a neurologist but being
That he is bed bound and it's been very hard to move him we haven't been able to see the neurologist in about 6 months.
Any help, advise would be greatly appreciated.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/22/2014 8:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Carl. I appreciate that. It's a huge burden and
breaks our hearts to see him this way. I feel for anyone going through this as it is so awful. I will certainly look for a support to call as I have many questions.
Thanks again.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 278
   Posted 4/24/2014 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
In the last, or 3rd stage of Alzheimers, the pt is seldom able to talk at all, or constantly repeats the same thing. They may be physically healthy for quite awhile... many just keep walking and walking and walking. Generally forget how to feed themselves. Hallucinations may be common. They do not recognize even the closest relatives...and trying to 'reason' with them brings nothing but frustration to everyone involved.
They are usually incontinent. Some are combatitive...
Many succumb to pneumonia, which thank all that is holy, the doctor will NOT treat aggressively. They become like zombies if they continue to live.
This is what I believe with all my heart. I truly believe that when they are in that stage that their soul no longer inhabits their bodies and that they are blessedly free, in a peaceful dimension (whatever you call it) and that their bodies simply operate in brain-memory robot like behavior. Please know that regardless of what it looks is MUCH worse for the loved ones during the 2nd and 3rd stages...and that the soul of the one with Alz is truly free and at peace. I truly hope I have not hurt or offended anyone by writing this... I only want it to help. I worked with Alz pts and know what it did to families.
Sending you all love and understanding.

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 4/27/2014 10:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello .....
   I understand that there is a difference between alzheimers and dementia, but I believe many of the differences are usually small.
   My Mother passed away in January of this year - from Dementia. She was officially diagnosed with dementia about 3-years ago while in the hospital after falling down. Undoubtedly, it began much earlier.
   She was, for 15-months, back into her own home but with a doctor required 24/7 caregiver. Then, her last 16-months were in an Assisted Living for Dementia and Parkinsons - a terrific specialized Home. And that was a requirement by the hospital psychiatrist after one of her major evening hallucinations put her into the hospital.
   I feel for your partial family to have to deal with all the forms of support for your father-in-law. It isn't fair .... and it IS harder on the supporting people than on the patient - at least in my belief!!!
   In my Mothers case, she had money put away, so that it was not a financial burden on me - although by the end, her money was close to running out. For moral support, it was just me .... and at times, one of my daughters. But the other daughter washed her hands and continues to wash her hands of helping anyone - unless there's something in it for her. 
   Toward the end, many of the reactions of my Mother were very similar to what you're saying about your FIL. The staff, at one point in late 2013, suggested that I bring in hospice for her.
   That organization was terrific. They were caring. They did not get into the way of either the Assisted Living staff or the primary doctor. They kept me informed - as often as I wished. And the purpose was to make her final days as pleasant and pain-free as possible.
   The hospice was paid for by medicare. The duration of hospice can be almost anything. In my Mothers case, it was close to three months. It can be much longer though often is not.
   I don't know that anyone could tell you if your FIL is nearing the end. I think it's safe to say he is in the later stages though. In my Mothers case, the AL staff was very careful NOT to give any kind of timeframe for her. But, when hospice is suggested - it's getting close.
   Hospice called me three times the day my Mother passed - to keep me informed - and to let me know that her time was very close. Swallowing food does often become very difficult. It was for her - and that often leads to difficult breathing and/or pneumonia at the end.
   I wish you and yours peace.
Rob & Gizmo
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