How Long Is the Last Stage of Alzheimer’s?

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You can expect your senior loved one’s care needs to increase as he or she enters the late stage of Alzheimer’s. Up until now, your loved one may have been able to manage some tasks independently with supervision. However, now he or she may be almost completely dependent on others for care. Being ready for this stage can help you make the best decisions regarding your loved one’s health.

Average Length of Late-Stage Alzheimer’s

Late-stage Alzheimer’s can last for several weeks to many years. For this reason, many people decide to provide care for their loved ones at home using professional assistance. Although you cannot reverse Alzheimer’s disease, you may be able to prolong your loved one’s life by addressing common challenges that arise.

It can be extremely helpful to enlist a professional caregiver with specialized training in Alzheimer’s care, which includes unique methods designed to slow cognitive decline. The type of senior home care 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.

What to Expect During the Last Stage

The earlier stages of Alzheimer’s disease help you prepare for the final stage. By now, you’ve had to help your loved one with many tasks, such as communicating his or her needs and planning meals. You may have also had to keep your loved one safe from wandering away from home. Now your loved one will need more extensive care. He or she may not be able to eat like before, which means you’ll need to prepare meals accordingly. Your loved one may be able to walk short distances with some assistance or be completely bedbound. Watch your loved one for new symptoms that signal the need for a change in his or her care plan. For instance, seniors who start choking on their food may need their caregivers to prepare smoothies or other types of meals with softer textures.

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 Coral Gables 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.

How to Manage Your Emotions

During the last stage of Alzheimer’s, you can expect to be providing what most people consider to be end-of-life care. Your primary goal at this point is to keep your loved one comfortable and help him or her prevent illnesses or injuries that make things worse. Providing care for someone at this stage of life is physically and emotionally demanding. Make sure to take time to talk to others about what you’re going through. If possible, take some time away from your duties each week to refresh your spirit so you can continue to treat your loved one with the dignity he or she deserves.

Ways to Show You Care

Once seniors reach this stage, they experience the world mostly through their senses. Although your loved one may not be able to communicate or always understand what you say, he or she can sense that you love him or her just by your presence. In fact, just sitting together can have a profound impact on your loved one’s emotional wellbeing. Family caregivers often use this time to delegate their duties to professionals so they can make the most of the time they have left with their loved ones. While someone else handles tasks such as preparing special meals, you can rub scented lotion on your loved one’s hands. You might also play your loved one’s favorite songs or sing to him or her.

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. Coral Gables 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. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at 1 (305) 964-5636 today.