As a senior with Alzheimer’s advances in his or her illness, there will be changes family members will need to make in order to provide the best possible care for their loved one. It is important not to be discouraged–it’s all a part of the process, and knowing what to expect will prepare both you and your senior loved one for the journey ahead.
Inability to Consume Foods and Beverages
Seniors in the final stages of Alzheimer’s are unable to eat or drink on their own. This is the result of their motor function breaking down, thereby hindering the brain’s ability to communicate to the necessary muscles for movement. A good way to tackle this change is by incorporating different foods in your loved one’s diet. Try softer foods that are easy to chew, swallow, and digest. This will help prevent any discomfort, minimize choking hazards, and inhibit indigestion. Additionally, it has been suggested that feeding seniors with Alzheimer’s their favorite foods can help stimulate their sense of taste and boost their quality of life.
Memory Loss and Cognitive Stimulation
Seniors with Alzheimer’s will also experience almost complete memory loss by the final stages of the disease. It is helpful and important to remember that even though your loved one cannot communicate like before, he or she still requires the same amount of mental stimulation. Some recommended activities include reading to the your loved one from his or her favorite books or listening to favorite songs or music genres. Stick to things that were once familiar, as it could provide a sense of comfort and contentment. It is also helpful to go through photo albums and share any interesting stories behind those captured memories.
Loss of Mobility and Muscle Control
During the final stage of Alzheimer’s, seniors will like experience difficulty walking and getting around, and many seniors lose their mobility altogether. It would be beneficial to employ the use of a wheelchair when this happens, and many at-home Alzheimer’s caregivers in Cincinnati recommend a daily stroll outside (weather permitting) as sunlight is a natural way to boost serotonin levels in the brain. It’s also important to massage your loved one’s muscles to soothe any aches or pains associated with immobility. Additionally, you can expect to provide more assistance when it comes to personal and hygienic care, for which it would help to have a shower stool and detachable showerhead at your disposal for an easy and comfortable method of bathing.
Keep a Regimented Schedule
Above all else, it is important to maintain a schedule for seniors with Alzheimer’s. This is an essential practice for all stages of Alzheimer’s, but maintaining a routine in the final stages can aid both the senior and the at-home caregiver in navigating daily life and provides a sense of comfort and stability to seniors.
If you could use additional support meeting your loved one’s care needs, turn to Home Care Assistance. We are the trusted provider of home care Cincinnati families rely on and can ensure your loved one has assistance with everyday tasks regardless of his or her abilities. Give us a call at 513.891.2273 and speak with a dedicated Care Manager to learn more.