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.