Seniors and their families often have many questions after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. While people are being diagnosed with this condition at younger ages than ever before, it’s still common for people to find out they have Alzheimer’s when they’re already in the middle or later stages of the disease. On average, most people live between four and 20 years after their initial diagnosis. Knowing how long your senior loved one can live during the last stage of Alzheimer’s helps you plan for his or her future.
Factors that Influence the Time between Alzheimer’s Stages
There’s a noticeably large time range in terms of how long people live with Alzheimer’s, which is due to the variances in people’s overall health and levels of support. Seniors with high levels of support at home tend to go through each stage more slowly and live longer than people without help. Most people can live for several years with late-stage Alzheimer’s, but it does require their families to make decisions about how to provide high-quality care. Helping your loved one receive proper nutrition and prevent injuries allows him or her to enjoy a higher quality of life in this final stage.
It can be extremely helpful to enlist the help of a professional caregiver with specialized training in Alzheimer’s care. The type of in-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.
How to Know if Your Loved One Is in the Last Stage
Your loved one should receive regular medical care when living with Alzheimer’s disease. Although there’s no defined test for each stage, a physician can help you determine when your loved one has reached late-stage Alzheimer’s based on the symptoms. Your loved one’s professional caregivers may also notice signs your loved one is moving into the final stage based on changes in abilities. For instance, seniors who can no longer feed themselves may be heading into the last stage.
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 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 Mississauga 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.
What to Expect during the Final Stage
The late stage of Alzheimer’s is characterized by a severe decrease in abilities. At this point, your loved one may experience more physical symptoms, such as incontinence, as the brain becomes unable to communicate with the other parts of the body. Your loved one may also face difficulty with walking or moving independently. Speech may become less intelligible. People in this stage may also experience seizures that place them at higher risk for injury.
Tips for Providing Compassionate Care
Although learning about what happens during the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease can feel upsetting, knowing what to expect empowers you and your loved one to make decisions while you can. If your loved one hasn’t reached this stage yet, now is the ideal time to talk about long-term plans for his or her care. For instance, your loved one may do best at home with a professional caregiver.
If your loved one is already in this stage, your role now is to focus on helping him or her stay comfortable despite the symptoms. By putting together a team of caregivers who can help with meals, dressing, and providing calm opportunities to socialize, you can help your loved one move through the final stages of Alzheimer’s with the understanding that he or she is loved.
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. Mississauga 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 create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at 905-337-1200 today.