During the late stages of Alzheimer’s, seniors experience a variety of issues, such as difficulty carrying on conversations, controlling their movements, and responding to their environments, which can make life challenging. Continue reading to learn about late-stage Alzheimer’s, including what can be done to boost your senior loved one’s quality of life.
1. Time Frames
The final stage of Alzheimer’s could last for a few weeks or several years. The progression of the disease varies from person to person, and the late stage can last longer for some seniors. It would be best to familiarize yourself with the final stages of Alzheimer’s to reduce stress and feelings of uncertainty.
Families whose loved ones are unable to live at home safely often take on the task of caregiving themselves, but seniors with Alzheimer’s may need a level of care that families simply aren’t able to provide. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Edmonton Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
2. Eating Difficulties
Another issue that arises during late-stage Alzheimer’s is difficulty chewing and swallowing, which could put your parent at risk for malnutrition and speed up the progression of the disease. Prepare soft foods for your loved one, or puree his or her favorite dishes. Since communication can be a significant challenge in the late stages of the disease, your loved one may not be able to tell you when he or she is thirsty. To prevent dehydration, make sure your loved one drinks plenty of liquids, and keep healthy beverages and water nearby.
2. Severe Cognitive Decline
Recognizing faces without being able to recall names is common during the late stages of Alzheimer’s. Your loved one may mistake you for his or her spouse or one of his or her other children due to the effect the disease has on memory and thinking skills. Delusions could also appear at this time, causing your loved one to do things that make no sense. For example, your loved one may think he or she has to attend a work-related meeting even though he or she retired years ago. Focus more on your loved one’s needs instead of correcting his or her behavior or inaccuracies.
It can be extremely helpful to enlist the help of a professional caregiver with specialized training in Alzheimer’s care, which includes unique methods designed to boost cognitive health. The type of home care services seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.
4. Combative Behavior
Aggression is common in older adults during the late stages of Alzheimer’s, and it could lead to sudden verbal and physical outbursts. When your parent is unable to remember certain people or how to perform simple functions, he or she could lash out due to frustration. Alzheimer’s can also prevent your loved one from speaking clearly or finding the right words to communicate how he or she is feeling, so he or she may use combative behavior to get your attention. Never respond negatively. To prevent the situation from escalating, maintain a calm demeanor and look for a way to gently distract your loved one.
5. The Need for Respite Care Services
Your loved one will need constant care during the later stages of Alzheimer’s, which could exceed your family’s capabilities. However, using in-home respite care services provides your parent with high-quality care while giving your family temporary relief. The respite care agency can assign a professional with training and experience in late-stage Alzheimer’s care who can give you valuable insight and caregiving tips.
Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Edmonton Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (780) 490-7337.