What Are The Signs Of End-Stage Dementia?
Dementia is a general term for progressive brain diseases which include a wide variety of diseases, each with their own symptoms and life expectancies. That being said, once a dementia patient reaches the end stage of the disease, the signs and symptoms are relatively the same across all forms of dementia. Caring for an individual with dementia can be extremely tough, especially during the end-stage and it’s important to be able to recognize the signs associated with the final stage of the disease.
What Happens in the End-Stage of Dementia
At the start of end-stage dementia, you may notice an increase in hospital visits or possibly the diagnosis of other conditions such as cancer or congestive heart failure. In the final 2 to 3 months of the disease, common symptoms include:
- Speech limited to six words or less per day.
- Difficulty in swallowing or choking on liquids or food.
- Unable to walk or sit upright without assistance.
In the final days or weeks of dementia, the patient will need 24/7 care and will likely need assistance with any activities of daily living. Symptoms include:
- Hands, feet, arms, and legs may be increasingly cold to the touch.
- Inability to swallow.
- Terminal agitation or restlessness.
- An increasing amount of time asleep or drifting into unconsciousness.
- Changes in breathing, including shallow breaths or periods without breathing for several seconds or up to a minute.
The patient will likely be unable to communicate and will be bedridden. For caregivers, it will be important to notice the signs associated with the final stage of dementia as they will need to prepare themselves or the family/loved ones of the patient for what’s to come. The amount of care that the patient will need increases significantly during the end-stage and preparations should be made in advance.
Need a Caregiver for a Patient Suffering from Dementia in Phoenix, AZ?
If you are looking for a qualified, affordable caregiver trained in dementia care, Devoted Guardians can help. Call (480) 999-3012 and talk to one of our staff at Devoted Guardians. We are one of Arizona’s most recommended home care providers and offer daily 24-hour living assistance, including nighttime watch, and personal care.