End Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
End of life can be an emotional time to speak about, understand and accept. Like other illnesses,the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease can impose a specific set of symptoms that impair the body’s function and can signal end of life.
Alzheimer’s disease is progressive, and while each individual’s experience will be different, near the end stage of this disease, an individual may spend most of their time in bed due to the body beginning to slow and eventually shut down. During this time, individuals may experience the following symptoms:
- Unable to communicate verbally or through written expression
- Weight loss
- Skin breakdown
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing
- Increased sleeping
- Inability to perform any tasks associated with personal care
It is important to recognize that the presence of one of these symptoms does not necessarily signal the end stages of Alzheimer’s disease or end of life.Throughout the progression of the disease and in the end stages, it is important to maintain connection with medical professionals in order to evaluate the individual’s status, as well as receive necessary treatments and support.
AFA’s national toll-free helpline is an additional resource for discussing end of life. Licensed social workers are available to provide support, education and resources.