The final stages of Alzheimer’s care are not easy to manage. You need to prepare yourself and ensure you both have the services and support you need. Here are the things you need to do to be ready for the things that occur in the final stages.
Mobility and Ambulation
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, your mom will stop walking well on her own. She’ll use a shuffled gait to get around, and that increases the risk of a fall. Stepping up curbs or stairs is a problem.
Eventually, her muscle strength and balance will diminish to the point where she needs a walker or wheelchair for support. Make sure she has a caregiver available to help her get out of bed, in the shower, and move from one room to another.
Bathing and Toileting
Her ability to take showers on her own will diminish. She’s also going to start experiencing incontinence and need help cleaning up after using the toilet. Personal care services for grooming and hygiene are essential.
You might find it hard to do these intimate tasks, and your mom may not want your help. An Alzheimer’s home care professional can help you with these areas of your mom’s care.
Anger and Frustration
In the middle stages, your mom may start lashing out frequently at anyone who tries to help her. Verbal and physical abuse are possible, and it’s going to be alarming. Respite care is important, as you need to step away and take the breaks you need for your emotional, physical, and mental health.
Sundowning can be part of it. You might find your mom’s temperament worsens in the late afternoon when the sun isn’t high in the sky. As clocks go back in the fall and it’s darker earlier, sundowning may increase. Be ready to take as many breaks as you need.
Refusal to Eat or Drink
In the final stages, your mom will start having difficulty eating with a fork, spoon, or knife. She’s going to need you to cut things up for her, or you need to serve finger foods. As the disease progresses, she will require softer foods that are easy to swallow. Many families use nutritional shakes and a cup with a lid and straw.
Do not be alarmed when your mom refuses to eat or drink. It will happen. Talk to her doctor about hospice care services at this point.
You may not imagine needing Alzheimer’s care services, but you will. Very few family caregivers can manage their parents’ 24/7 care needs in the final stages of this disease.
Make sure you don’t blame yourself or think of yourself as a quitter or failure. You’re not. Alzheimer’s is a challenging condition for both patient and family caregivers, and it’s one you need a strong support team to handle. Talk to an Alzheimer’s care specialist about the different ways a trained caregiver can become a partner in your mom’s care.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Alzheimer’s Home Care in La Mesa, CA, please contact the caring staff at Aaron Home Care. (619) 880-5522
A Trusted Home Care Agency Serving La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Point Loma, San Diego, UTC, La Mesa, Chula Vista, Coronado, Bonita, Eastlake and the surrounding areas.