Preparing for the Advanced Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

If you have just been diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD), you may be wondering what your next steps should be. This is a frightening time, but preparation will make the disease’s progression much easier on you and your family. This blog outlines the major concerns that you will face in the latest stage of AD.32140958

Making Care Decisions

In late-stage AD, patients are robbed of their ability to communicate effectively, so you need to be sure that you have expressed your wants and needs regarding your medical and financial care long before this stage occurs. Answering the following questions will get you started:

  • Do I want to remain in my own home as long as possible?
  • Is there a particular person or care center that I would prefer?
  • Do I want to live with family or friends, or would I prefer to go to a care center?
  • Who will take over my finances when I can no longer manage them?

Discuss all of these items with family or potential caregivers and work toward a decision that everyone can agree upon.

Other Health Concerns

Movement is severely limited as AD progresses and you will likely lose the ability to do daily activities like wash yourself and eat. These limitations not only require additional care, they can also exacerbate existing health conditions. Simple things like remembering to take medications will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, in late-stage AD.

Tell family and friends or other potential caregivers about your other health concerns so they are aware of what to look for if the condition worsens. They will also need to be aware of any treatments or medications and will likely need to speak with your doctor for any special caretaking requirements.

Planning for Safety

Awareness plummets in late-stage AD. That means that you may not know what day or year it is, where you are, or who the people around you are. Patients can react very negatively to this type of confusion and can harm themselves or others. AD patients sometimes wander off and become lost if they do not have the proper supervision. How will you avoid this type of problem? Discuss it with your caretaker now for your safety and theirs.

Preparation can make the progression of the disease easier on you and your loved ones. Contact us at 561-694-1010 for more information or to set up an appointment. We can walk you through all of the concerns that you may have and suggest further steps to prepare.

If you would be interested in a free memory screening, please contact us today

Sources:

Arcand, M. (2015). End-of-life issues in advanced dementia, Part 1: Goals of care, decision-making process, and family education. Canadian Family Physician. 61(4):330-334.

Cummings, J.L, et al. (2002). Guidelines for Managing Alzheimer’s Disease: Part I. Assessment. Am. Fam. Physican. 65(11):2263-2272.

Cummings, J.L., et al. (2015). A practical algorithm for managing Alzheimer’s disease: what, when, and why?. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. 2(3):307-323.

 

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