All You Need To Know About End-Stage Dementia

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The former Mayor of Cornelius, Oregon, Ralph Brown, went missing last May 16, 2021, and is still missing. He’s 76 years old, suffering from dementia. The family said he has early-onset Alzheimer’s symptoms that often lead to confusion and forgetfulness, but they never realized that he was exhibiting symptoms of late-stage dementia.

Do you have a loved one suffering from the same disease?

If you do, then you might have several questions. How can you avoid these unfortunate events? When is the right time to get assistance for your loved ones? Learn more about the final stages of dementia and when it’s the right time to call for professional help and hospice care.

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What Is End-Stage Dementia, and How Long Does It Last?

There are 5.8 million people in the US who have Alzheimer’s disease and showing symptoms related to dementia. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but dementia becomes more common as people grow older.

What Is Dementia?

Dementia refers to a group of progressive illnesses in which a person experiences forgetfulness, confusion, and the inability to make decisions that affect their daily routine. Unfortunately, other than medications to help patients with their symptoms and slow the progression of their condition, there is no cure for dementia.

How To Prevent Dementia

Although extensive research is done on dementia, the specific reasons it happens are still unknown. Because its cause is still undetermined, total prevention is difficult. However, in general, having a healthy lifestyle is still the best way to combat this illness.

How Long Does It Take to Die From Dementia?

Dementia is not a part of a person’s normal aging process. Some individuals aged 85 and above suffer from it. Meanwhile, some live to their 90s without experiencing any signs of dementia.

It’s still best to get a check early than be late and reach the last stages of the disease without proper care. But if your loved one has already reached the final stages of dementia, where the symptoms become severe, you should expect that the patient will require help with everything.

Patients in their last stage of dementia will:

  • Become weaker and need help with sitting and walking
  • Mostly become bedridden as days go by
  • Have problems with drinking, eating, and swallowing foods and medications
  • Develop an inability to recognize family members and friends
  • Often be doing “time-shifting” or looking for someone who has already passed away
  • Struggle to speak clearly and get more sleep
  • Lose their facial expressions and emotions
  • Get sick quickly, have accidents, and need urgent medical care
  • Have a weak immune system and become prone to ailments such as pneumonia

How Long Does the Final Stage of Alzheimer’s Last?

In general, a person with end-stage dementia has a lower life expectancy than the average population. However, it will still depend on the patient’s health conditions, how early physicians had diagnosed their dementia, the type of dementia, and whether they received the proper and professional care they need.

Because dementia is a broad term referring to symptoms impacting an individual’s memory, let’s use Alzheimer’s to answer this question.

Among the six types of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common. How long do the final stage of Alzheimer’s last? If a patient has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, there are four typical progressions:

  • Early Stage or Mild – 2 to 4 years
  • Middle Stage or Moderate – 2 to 10 years
  • Late Stage or Severe – 1 to 3 years
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Dementia End of Life: When to Call for Professional Care

It is usual to take care of a family member in their early and especially last stages of dementia. But it is still better to get help from professionals. This relieves the patient’s primary caregiver from responsibilities and prepares the family for what to expect of the disease.

Hospice care provides patients with the most comfortable safekeeping until their last days because of dementia. Additionally, it offers their loved ones the support they need through doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, and other trained professionals.

Getting dementia patients hospice services doesn’t mean you are giving them up. Instead, it means you’re thinking of their well-being by giving them the care, comfort, and support you both need.

It’s hard to see them suffering from the signs of dementia without knowing what to do. Hospice focuses on providing your loved ones the appropriate care they need to deal with the disease as easily as possible.

How To Qualify for Hospice

If the patient’s physician determined the end-stage dementia life expectancy to be six months or less, they could get a hospice service. All life-limiting illnesses or diseases that no longer need high-pressure treatment are qualified for hospice.

If you are worried about the payment, most hospice is covered by health insurance such as Medicare nationwide and Medicaid in some states.

Don’t Face It Alone

If you are looking for help and guidance in caring for a patient with end-stage dementia, All American Hospice is here for you. We offer compassionate hospice services and can help prepare you for the journey ahead.

A social worker can also assist you with caregiving, errands, emotional support, and grief-related needs. Call All American Hospice today for more information.

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