Your family should prepare for the symptoms associated with the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease that could make day-to-day life more challenging. Below are some details about late-stage Alzheimer’s, including what to expect, how long it lasts, and effective ways to manage it.
1. How Does the Disease Progress in the Late Stage?
Alzheimer’s generally develops at a slow pace and worsens gradually over the years. The most notable symptoms are memory loss, critical thinking problems, and personality changes. The speed of progression depends on factors such as genetics, your loved one’s age, and any other medical conditions he or she has developed.
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 San Antonio 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.
2. How Long Does the Late Stage Last?
Most seniors live between 3 to 11 years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. However, it’s not uncommon for older adults with this progressive disease to live 20 years or more after learning they’ve developed the condition. The final stage of Alzheimer’s is known as the late stage, and it typically lasts for two to three years. Your loved one’s lifestyle choices, response to treatment, and the type of care he or she receives could increase this time frame.
3. What Should Families Expect?
Late-stage Alzheimer’s affects every senior differently, but some of the symptoms are the same. For example, most adults lose the ability to stand and walk without assistance due to the brain’s inability to control movements. Severe cognitive decline could also make it difficult to chew and swallow. Behavioral challenges are common because seniors with Alzheimer’s are often unable to control their emotions, increasing the risk of verbal and physical aggression.
It can be extremely helpful to enlist the help of a professional caregiver with specialized training in Alzheimer’s care, which includes unique methods designed to boost cognitive health. The type of homecare services 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.
4. How Can Families Provide Effective Care?
When your parent is unable to move independently, daily life could be challenging for your family. To make your loved one more comfortable, contact an in-home care agency that offers assistance and tips. The professional caregivers can show your family how to move your parent safely, what foods he or she should eat, and what type of activities are appropriate based on his or her mental and physical health. The caregivers can also show you how to move your loved one without harming yourself. For example, you should always hold your loved one as close as possible when moving him or her to avoid overreaching or twisting your body.
5. Where Can Families Find Support?
You and your siblings should join an Alzheimer’s caregiver support group. These groups consist of professionals and family caregivers who have been in similar situations or are currently caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s. During the meetings, you can listen to other caregivers share their stories and receive tips that make life less stressful for you, your loved one, and your entire family. You could also share your daily experiences instead of keeping the emotions—good and bad—bottled up inside. Having a great support system can help you manage your loved one’s care, alleviate stress, and lower the risk of depression.
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. San Antonio 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. If you need professional Alzheimer’s care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (210) 495-6300.