When a loved one is in the later stages of dementia, they are likely to be frailer. Furthermore, they are likely to experience severe memory loss, problems with communication and daily activities. They may also experience greater changes in behaviour and physical problems than in the earlier stages and will most likely rely on others for much of their care.
Dementia is a progressive condition. This means it will get worse over time due to the damage to the loved one’s brain, and this will have a big impact on their mental abilities, including memory and communication.
It is important to remember, the speed at which dementia worsens varies widely.
The loved one’s reactions are likely to be influenced by their environment and how they feel. For example, they may react more positively if they are in a familiar environment or one where they feel comfortable.
By the time someone reaches the later stages of dementia, they are likely to have significant cognitive difficulties. Recent memories may be lost completely (for example, what they had for breakfast or when they last saw a friend) and they may only remember parts of memories.
Even if the loved one with dementia is not able to place someone, they are still likely to experience feelings they associate with that person. Keeping in touch with the people they know where possible will help them to continue to have these positive feelings and enjoy their company.
Your loved one may also develop increasing difficulties with other mental abilities. They may only be able to carry out simple activities or not be able to concentrate for too long. However, they may still get enjoyment from past hobbies, interests, and activities. Find opportunities to make these meaningful. This could be doing anything that the person benefits from whether this is enjoyment, fulfilment, or comfort.
They may gradually lose their ability to walk, stand or get themselves up from the chair or bed. They may also be more likely to fall. These problems can be caused by dementia, medication, other medical conditions (for example stroke), sight loss, balance problems and the environment. However, not all people will have problems with mobility.
Many people find themselves staying in one position for a long time (such as sitting in a chair) and not moving around much. This means they are at risk of pressure ulcers (bedsores). They can be easy to prevent early on, but if they go unnoticed, they can get worse and become painful and infected.
Many people with dementia lose weight in the later stages. Weight loss can affect the immune system and make it harder for the person to fight infections and other illnesses. It can also increase the risk of falling and make it harder for the person to remain independent.
Your loved one should be supported to eat and drink for as long as they show an interest and can do so safely (even if they just take a mouthful or a sip). There are ways to help make this easier for the person.
Having dementia doesn’t mean your loved one will become incontinent, but there are several reasons why they could be or have problems using the toilet. These include various medical conditions, many of which can be treated.
If the person with dementia is unwell and there is a sudden change in their mental abilities or behaviour that lasts several hours, it is often a sign they have delirium.
Your loved one still feels pain in the later stages of dementia even though they may not be able to verbally communicate it. They may be unable to tell you that they are in pain, and as a result, they may start to behave in unusual ways. It’s important to consider pain as a cause and make sure that it is properly managed.
If your loved one with dementia has made their wishes known regarding care in their later stages, you can support them and help them to meet these plans. These may consist of various things.
At Cavendish Homecare, we can help support you and your loved ones with our expertise in delivering Dementia Homecare. We know that being diagnosed with Dementia can have a huge emotional, social, and psychological effect on both the person suffering and their family. Therefore, we ensure specialist care in the comfort of one’s own home.
To find out more about how best we can help you in the days and weeks ahead please call us on 0203 008 5210 or email email@example.com.
Grace Laudy, a dynamic individual driven by a strong passion for making a positive impact on society and excelling in her professional life. Grace is actively involved in her local leisure centre, championing inclusivity in sports for individuals with disabilities. Grace’s compassion extends beyond community involvement to her personal life, where she provides support to a family member living with Parkinson’s disease.
Having transitioned into a pivotal role as a recruitment and compliance assistant at Cavendish Homecare, Grace excels at guiding nurses and carers through the onboarding process and expertly handling the meticulous management of compliance. Grace’s multifaceted contributions showcase her as an exceptional professional with a genuine commitment to making a positive impact on all clients, nurses, and carers.