Coping with Late-Stage Alzheimer's Disease

Coping with Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

late stage alzheimersThe earlier stages of Alzheimer’s disease affect cognitive processes, such as memory, judgement and thinking. As the disease progresses, it affects behavior and physical functioning as well. By the time the disease reaches the last stage, many parts of the body are affected. People often have difficulty with motor coordination, bowel and bladder control and even breathing. This is why the last stage typically requires around-the-clock care.

Let’s learn more about the symptoms of late-stage Alzheimer’s and how to cope with them. This stage can last for years, so it’s important to have help from home care or other support services as well as a strong support system.

Symptoms of Late-Stage Alzheimer’s

Here are some of the symptoms that people experience when going through the end stages of Alzheimer’s.

  • Difficulty walking and moving
  • Trouble communicating
  • Grunting and moaning
  • Seizures
  • Weight loss
  • Incontinence
  • Increased sleeping
  • Difficulty swallowing and eating
  • Increased susceptibility to infections

How to Cope with Late-Stage Alzheimer’s

No aspect of Alzheimer’s disease is easy to deal with, but this stage can be the most difficult. Families know that this is the last stage, and if the disease itself does not prove fatal, a complication can.

Here are some tips for coping with this advanced disease.

  • Choose a place where your loved one can receive care. Alzheimer’s care can be delivered in the home, at a skilled care facility or in a hospice center. Decide where you want your loved one to receive this care and what equipment, therapy, medications and assistance are needed.
  • Get respite care for yourself. It’s important that you take breaks and get some time for yourself. By stepping away, you can maintain your sense of identity, boost your mental and physical health and reduce friction between you and loved ones.
  • Keep a personal connection. As your loved one receives palliative and hospice care, you can use your time with them in meaningful ways. Comfort your loved one with familiar songs and music. Look through old photo books or read them a story. This keeps your loved one content in the moment while creating new memories for you.
  • Build a support system. Knowing that you have a long road to go through, it’s helpful to join an Alzheimer’s caregiver support group, speak with a grief counselor and align bereavement services. Don’t let your emotions bottle up inside, or they could interfere with the final time you have with your loved one.

For more information about Alzheimer’s, its three stages and the options for home care, check out these informational videos.

Core values:

Courage • Compassion • Commitment • Caring • Community

  • "Thank you for being awesome! A current patient called me this morning to tell me her physician is now recommending Doctor’s Choice because of the care you provided her."

  • "Thank you all for everything you do for our patients. We got a patient call to compliment each of you for going above and beyond in your care. Keep up the good work team!"

  • "I was very pleased with the therapist and the nurse.  My wounds were treated with the utmost of care.  Thank you"

  • "Thank you Shana for the caring and concern you have for your patients. You embody all the core values when you practice home health."

  • "Your staff - Terry, Carole, Mary, Diane and Lisa - were all excellent.  They are caring, knowledgeable, helpful in every way.  Terry is special among special people.  Congratulations on putting together such an incredible team!"

  • "Carol is a tremendous asset to your organization.  She embodies the utmost in knowledge, skill and compassion.  Arlene, Speech Pathologist, was very instructive.  She taught me a number of things to care for my parent, helped me secure items for Dad's wellbeing and taught me plenty for his care."

  • "Thank you for being awesome! A current patient called me this morning to tell me her physician is now recommending Doctor’s Choice because of the care you provided her."

  • "Amanda your attention to detail and hard work does not go unnoticed. Thank you for all of your hard work."

  • "I have to send a huge THANK YOU to Jennifer for her EXCELLENT communication between disciplines and to office staff to ensure the best patient care is being provided."

    Core values:

    Courage • Compassion • Commitment • Caring • Community

    • "Thank you for being awesome! A current patient called me this morning to tell me her physician is now recommending Doctor’s Choice because of the care you provided her."

    • "Thank you all for everything you do for our patients. We got a patient call to compliment each of you for going above and beyond in your care. Keep up the good work team!"

    • "I was very pleased with the therapist and the nurse.  My wounds were treated with the utmost of care.  Thank you"

    • "Thank you Shana for the caring and concern you have for your patients. You embody all the core values when you practice home health."

    • "Your staff - Terry, Carole, Mary, Diane and Lisa - were all excellent.  They are caring, knowledgeable, helpful in every way.  Terry is special among special people.  Congratulations on putting together such an incredible team!"

    • "Carol is a tremendous asset to your organization.  She embodies the utmost in knowledge, skill and compassion.  Arlene, Speech Pathologist, was very instructive.  She taught me a number of things to care for my parent, helped me secure items for Dad's wellbeing and taught me plenty for his care."

    • "Thank you for being awesome! A current patient called me this morning to tell me her physician is now recommending Doctor’s Choice because of the care you provided her."

    • "Amanda your attention to detail and hard work does not go unnoticed. Thank you for all of your hard work."

    • "I have to send a huge THANK YOU to Jennifer for her EXCELLENT communication between disciplines and to office staff to ensure the best patient care is being provided."

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