Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t follow a specific timeline. While some people live only a few years after their diagnosis, others can continue living for twenty years or more. During this time, seniors advance through different stages, and people often worry the most about how long the final stage lasts. Understanding the average length of time the last stage of Alzheimer’s lasts, along with the challenges your aging loved one faces, can help you understand how to provide the right type of care.
Average Time Span for Late-Stage Alzheimer’s
Late-stage Alzheimer’s disease can last for as little as a few weeks or as long as several years. While the later stage used to be extremely short, new treatments and special care strategies have allowed seniors with this condition to continue to live longer. Your loved one’s medical team can help you determine how long he or she may live based on the current symptoms. However, seniors often surpass everyone’s expectations and continue to thrive when they’re able to stick to a high-quality care plan.
It can be extremely helpful to enlist the help of a professional caregiver with specialized training in Alzheimer’s care, which includes unique methods designed to boost cognitive health. The type of in-home care seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.
Reasons for the Difference in Longevity
There’s obviously a significant gap between a couple of weeks and several years, and this is due to major differences in how Alzheimer’s disease affects seniors along with variations in overall health among older adults. Your loved one has a greater chance of living longer in the final stage if he or she is already in relatively good health. Being well-nourished offsets the potential for malnutrition if your loved one has eating challenges, and having a strong body can prevent new health issues that might cause your loved one to go through the final stage more quickly. People who receive proper care before and during this stage tend to do better overall.
What to Expect During This Stage
Late-stage Alzheimer’s is associated with major changes in abilities that mark a shift away from independence. During this time, your loved one may begin to experience longer and more serious periods of memory loss. He or she may become incontinent and need help getting dressed and bathing. Your loved one may also face difficulty with communicating, eating, and sleeping in this final stage. While these symptoms may be distressing, it helps to know you can do things that increase your loved one’s comfort and help him or her enjoy life.
Families whose loved ones are unable to live at home safely often take on the task of caregiving themselves, but seniors with Alzheimer’s may need a level of care that families simply aren’t able to provide. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Centennial Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
How to Provide High-Quality Comfort Care
During the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the focus tends to shift to finding ways to keep seniors comfortable and prevent known risks to their health. Your loved one may not always know who you are, but seniors can sense when they’re being cared for in the comfort of home. Hiring a professional home caregiver allows you to always have someone nearby to help your loved one with a variety of needs. Remember your loved one can still enjoy listening as you talk, play music, and hold his or her hand throughout the final stages of the condition.
Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Centennial Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (303) 957-3100.