Understanding Late Stage Dementia

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Late-stage dementia, also known as severe dementia, refers to a patient affected by the disease for a prolonged time. A person at this stage is now experiencing permanent damage to their brain. Because of this, constant care is required for the individual. Los Angeles hospice or palliative care is necessary at this stage.

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What are the symptoms of late-stage dementia?

Impaired memory.

A Los Angeles hospice patient with late-stage dementia may not be able to recognize people who are near them or distinguish between everyday objects. They might thus feel exposed and unsure of what is going on. Providing assurance and sustaining calm is crucial. Moments of recognition and connection may occur, which presents an opening for interaction.

Difficulty communicating through speech.

Even if you’re not sure they understand, it’s still crucial to keep talking to the person, share your news with them, and discuss topics that interest you. Even after they lose the ability to speak, people with dementia frequently communicate through their facial expressions, body language, and emotions. Try using smaller sentences; a one or two-word response may be easier for them to understand. 

Inaccurate perception of time. 

People with late-stage dementia may believe they are living in an earlier period in their younger decades. Talking about their past and the people and places they know and love can helpful at this time.

They are unable to eat and drink on their own.

It can be helpful to encourage someone to eat the nutritious food they need. Small, frequent snacks may be preferable to set meals. However, over time, the muscles and reflexes may stop functioning as they should, making chewing and swallowing more challenging. Chest infections or choking can result from this. Drinks may need to be thickened, and food textures may need to adjust.  It can be helpful to consult with a nutritionist or speech therapist for guidance.

Unable to use the restroom on their own.

A patient may lose their ability to control one’s bowel and bladder. Getting support from your doctor or a nurse is crucial if you want guidance on continence aids and how to prevent and treat an infection.

Increased sleeping patterns.

Eventually, a patient can appear to be asleep more often than awake, and this frequently occurs in late-stage dementia and can be challenging for the family to deal with. If you have any worries about spending a lot of time sleeping, speak to your doctor or nurse.

How do caregivers help patients with late-stage dementia?

Adapt the surroundings that complement’s patient’s interests or preferences.

The individual may then be able to relate emotionally and favorably to past interests. Doing this will reinforce positive memories for them, providing them with a sense of familiarity and comfort.

Using an appropriate communication style.

Despite the language being a concrete aspect of our daily lives, most communication is non-verbal. Although Los Angeles hospice care patients struggle with speaking, some can still pick up on non-verbal cues. 

Staying present with Dementia patients.

This makes it possible for the person to connect with others, which may be incredibly satisfying and lessen their feelings of loneliness. However, if remaining silent feels too uncomfortable, playing music, reading aloud from a favorite book, or just holding an object with sentimental value might help to focus the time you spend with the other person.

Faith and Hope Hospice is Here for You

If a doctor has identified late-stage dementia in your relative, Los Angeles palliative care or hospice care staff will help ensure a comfortable and high quality of end-of-life care for your loved one. Please call our toll-free number (877) 797-1977 today.