When you have a parent or other loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, you know that you will be dealing with progressive dementia and all of the issues that go along with it. However, this may not prepare your for the reality of caring for that loved one when they reach the advanced or later stage of Alzheimer's disease. Get to know more about dealing with advanced Alzheimer's disease so that you can prepare yourself for the process and you can take the best possible care of your loved one, keeping them as safe, secure, and healthy as possible.
Your Loved One May Not Be Able To Communicate With You
Once a person begins to reach the late stages of Alzheimer's disease, they will begin to lose the ability to communicate altogether. This can be difficult for both you and your loved one. You will need to be sure that you are well attuned to your loved one's physical or visual cues when they need something.
Just because your loved one may be unable to speak or even point to what they want or need, does not mean that you should cease your communications with them. Continue to talk to your loved one in soothing tones. When you need to perform a care task, be sure to tell them what you are doing and why.
There is no telling when they will have a moment of lucidity and will understand what you are saying. Additionally, they will still be in tune with the tone of a situation and the soothing sounds of your voice can help to keep them comfortable and calm.
Your Loved One May Lose Their Ability To Eat Or Even Swallow
As Alzheimer's progresses, it is not just their memories of past events and language that can be affected. They will also eventually lose access to the areas of the brain that help control the mechanical functions of life. Because of this, eating and swallowing can become difficult or even impossible.
When you are caring for your loved one in the later stages of Alzheimer's, you will need to be careful when you are feeding them. Be sure that the bites are easy to chew or require no chewing at all, and keep the size of the bites very small.
As swallowing and eating become more of an issue, you may want to consider hospice care to assist you with the care of your loved one. They are experts at caring for people who have the physical issues that come along with the late stages of dementia and Alzheimer's, and can relieve some of the stress and pressure from you and your other family members.
When your loved one enters that advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease, you will now better be able to handle the situation and provide your loved one with the care and assistance that they need. Visit http://www.carolinaeast.org for more information.