Caring for someone with late-stage Alzheimer’s can last month or years, depending on how fast the disease progresses. In this last stage, your loved one is often incapable of doing anything for themselves, requiring you to be their life support. After going through the early and middle stages of Alzheimer’s, here are some facts and tips about what you may experience in the final stage.
What to Expect
During late-stage Alzheimer’s, your loved one may lose all sense of autonomy and need help with just about every aspect of their life. You will need to make sure they are sitting upright to avoid choking when eating and drinking. They also may completely lose their ability to walk, speak and even bathe themselves. Their risk for contracting other illnesses also spike during this time, they are especially at a higher risk for pneumonia.
Your Role as a Caregiver
In the late stages of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s your primary concern, after making sure their needs are meant, is to uphold their dignity and quality of life. They may not be able to communicate or express the things that they want or need, but who they are at the core hasn’t changed. Here are some simple tips to making sure your loved one is as comfortable and happy as they can be:
- Play their favorite music
- Read portions of books that have meaning to them
- Look at old photos together
- Prepare a favorite food
- Rub lotion with a favorite scent into the skin
- Brush the person’s hair
- Sit outside together on a nice day
Use MemTrax for Monitoring Brain Health
Along with the program outlined by your loved one’s doctor, one way to monitor and track the progression of the disease is through the MemTrax test. The MemTrax test shows a series of images and asks users to identify when they’ve seen a repeated image. This test is beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s because the daily, weekly and monthly interaction with the system tracks memory retention and allows users to see if their scores are staying the same or getting worse. Keeping track of the patient’s mental health is critical in managing and handling the disease. Taking this test is a valuable source for family members who are concerned they may be at risk of developing the disease themselves; take a free test today!
Even as an experienced caregiver it can be overwhelming to help your loved one through this time. During the final stage, make sure your loved one is comfortable and knows that you care, and are there for them.
MemTrax is a screening test for the detection of learning and short-term memory issues, particularly the type of memory problems that arise with aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. MemTrax was founded by Dr. Wes Ashford, who has been developing the memory testing science behind MemTrax since 1985. Dr. Ashford graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970. At UCLA (1970 – 1985), he attained an M.D. (1974) and Ph.D. (1984). He trained in psychiatry (1975 – 1979) and was a founding member of the Neurobehavior Clinic and the first Chief Resident and Associate Director (1979 – 1980) on the Geriatric Psychiatry in-patient unit. The MemTrax test is quick, easy and can be