Later stages of dementia have some symptoms that you might not realize are connected to the disease itself. Understanding a little more about these symptoms and getting some extra help from elder care providers can help you and your senior family member to feel more comfortable.
Even Greater Memory Loss.
Memory loss is a huge part of dementia, but in the later stages you’ll notice even bigger instances of memory loss. Time can be a much bigger concern at this stage. Your loved one might not recognize herself when she looks in the mirror because in her mind she’s much younger. All of these issues can be difficult to deal with as her caregiver because it’s so painful to watch someone you love get to that point.
Complete Loss of Mobility.
At some point, memory loss can cause your elderly family member to forget how to do certain activities that she’s done thousands of times before. Confusion can also cause your senior to become clumsy while doing certain things, which can result in a fall. If that happens, your senior might find that her movements end up restricted even more as she heals.
Severe Difficulty with Communication.
As your senior’s cognitive abilities decline, she’s likely to lose her language skills. She may still be able to respond to yes/no questions or indicate preferences in other ways. Body language is also a powerful way to communicate with a senior who has trouble with language and verbal communication. The more that you can learn about how to communicate with your senior during this time the easier it will be to determine what she needs and wants.
Weight Loss and Difficulty Eating.
In the later stages of dementia, your elderly family member may forget to eat. Or the foods that she does choose to eat might not be the ones that give her the nutrition that she needs. Other health issues can also create difficulties with the mechanics of eating. Your aging family member might have trouble chewing or swallowing, for instance, and memory trouble can make that far worse.
Incontinence can be a problem for a variety of reasons and stages of your senior’s life, but it can become far worse as your elderly family member’s memory issues worsen. Difficulty remembering where the bathroom is or that she needs to go can also be a contributing factor.
You don’t have to manage these symptoms alone, however. Having experienced elder care and hospice providers available to help with these later stage issues can help you to free up your time and your emotions to spend as much quality time with your senior as you can.
If you or your aging loved one could benefit from Hospice Care in Santee, SC, contact the caring staff at Grove Park Hospice, (803) 536-6644