Late Stage Alzheimer’s Disease - Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center

Late Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

The late stage of Alzheimer’s disease is the final stage, and it can last anywhere from several weeks to several years. Due to the progressive nature of the disease, your loved one may require continuous, intensive, around-the-clock care. During this stage, your loved one may lose the ability to express their needs and talk, but most recent research suggests some of their core self still remains.

What to Expect in the Late Stage of Alzheimer’s Disease?

In late stage Alzheimer’s disease, your loved one will most likely become completely dependent on you for several aspects of life. Those with late stage Alzheimer’s disease may exhibit the following symptoms:

Severely Impaired Memory May Manifest As:

  • Very little to no short term memory
  • Very impaired long-term memory

Communication Problems May Manifest As:

  • Inability to speak or severely impaired speech
  • Impaired ability to understand language

Complications Recognizing People May Manifest As:

  • Inability to recognize one’s spouse and family
  • Not recognizing oneself in the mirror

Requiring Additional Assistance Can May Manifest:

  • Needing help with all activities of daily living
  • Need for constant supervision

Problems with Nutrition and Remembering How to Eat May Manifest As:

  • Difficulty coordinating the steps of biting, chewing, and swallowing
  • Weight loss

Complications Coordinating Movements May Manifest As:

  • Unsteady gait
  • Fumbling when grasping for objects
  • Difficulty holding on to objects

Increased Frailty May Manifest As:

  • General weakness
  • Increased susceptibility to infection and other physical illnesses

Other Symptoms May Include:

  • Loss of bladder control
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Upset sleep cycle.

What Can Caregivers Do for Late Stage Alzheimer's?

At this stage, you may still be able to connect with your loved one throughout the disease. Since they experience their world through senses, you can express your love and care through sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. For instance, you may find favorable results by:

  • Rubbing your loved one’s favorite scented lotion on their skin
  • Reminiscing and looking at older photos together
  • Playing your loved one’s favorite music
  • Reading portions of books with a deeper emotional meaning
  • Cooking their favorite food
  • Brushing their hair

Remember, the Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center is here for you along every step of the way.

Long-Term Care Needs for Late Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

Deciding on late stage care can be one of the most trying decisions you and your family will face. Most of the families we’ve worked with tell us it’s better to collect information and continue forward – instead of second guessing.

If possible, we suggest you have this conversation with your loved one in the earlier stages. By learning their wishes, you'll be better prepared to make the tough decisions. Keep in mind, there are good ways to provide quality care for your loved one.

If you’re unable to provide the around-the-clock care, support, and attention they need; you and your family may be best suited to find this care outside of the home. The decision is about ensuring your loved one receives the best level of care.

If you decide a long-term care facility is the best solution for your loved one, the experts at Long Island Alzheimer's and Dementia Center can help. We'll provide guidance and assistance to help you make the best decision for your loved one's care, for yourself, and for your family. We are here for you every step of the way.

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