6.3 Late-Stage Dementia

This stage is characterized by complete dependency and passivity. Memory issues are increasingly serious, and the disease’s physical component becomes more apparent. A person with late-stage dementia usually:

  • Has difficulty eating and walking
  • Is unable to recognize family members and friends
  • Has bladder and bowel incontinence
  • Is vulnerable to infections
  • Needs full-time care.

As the disease progresses, your duty as a caretaker is to maintain the patient’s dignity and quality of life.
According to a study, a person with late-stage Alzheimer’s may still retain part of their basic identity even if they often lose the ability to converse and express their needs. This suggests that even at the final stages of the illness, you can still communicate.
A great choice during this stage is palliative and hospice care. During these, emphasis is placed on quality and dignity by giving comfort, care, and support services to terminally ill patients and their families.

  • Diet

In late-stage Alzheimer’s, keeping an eye on eating is one of the most crucial daily carer responsibilities. A person will need less food when their level of activity decreases.
However, a person with the condition at this stage may also forget to eat or lose their appetite. Your doctor may even recommend supplements between meals to provide calories if weight loss is an issue.

Bowel and Bladder Function
Having trouble going to the bathroom is reasonably common at this stage of the disease. The individual might require assistance getting to and using the bathroom.
To maintain normal function, set a toileting schedule, limit liquids before bedtime, and monitor bowel movements.

  • Pain Relief

Since communicating pain becomes difficult for the patient, keep an eye out and check with a doctor as soon as possible if you suspect pain or illness.

  • Hygiene

A person with advanced Alzheimer’s disease may become confined to a chair or bed. Due to the incapacity to move, one may develop unsanitary behaviors, pressure sores, and skin deterioration.
Practicing good dental hygiene decreases the danger of oral bacteria causing pneumonia. Each time the individual eats, brush their teeth. Moreover, give regular baths.

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