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my mother is 87 and is in stage seven she needs to be fed she does not talk unless spoken to only one word answers she has no clue who we are even though we see her every day she has been this way for almost 9 months where we have to physically feed her she never smoked or drank she is healthy for those reasons how long can she go on this way

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Even most doctors can't give you a time frame. I can't imagine that she could go on much longer. Sometimes people seem physically fine and then their lungs "forget" to work or something goes wrong and they just don't wake up. Others can keep going for much longer.

If she is comfortable there may not be much more that you can do, but if you need help, it's possible that she would qualify for hospice care. That could give you a little respite and give your mother more medical supervision. I'm sure that you are exhausted so any respite care would help. Talk with her doctor about options.

Please keep us informed about how you are doing.
Carol
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bignewyorker, my mom is also in stage 7 one would assume. She lives with me. My Mom cannot speak either except some one words pop out or a rare mumble of "I Love you" in which I melt. She hasnt been able to walk either and this has been about 4 years now. I need to puree her foods and feeding takes 2 hours a meal. She chokes on fluids so I use thick it and be very careful because she forgets how to swallow and it takes a long time. She has been incontinent for over 4 years and I use a hoyer to move her. I transfer her onto the toilet to bathe her as she has strength in her legs but her brain wont tell her how to use them. I crush her pills into prune pudding 2x a day and feed her those that way. She doesnt know who I am but who knows, maybe she does? She rarely sleeps, its cat naps here and there. I hoyer her to her wheelchair, bed, recliner and keep her music on, hold her hand and do long cheek to cheek hugs because inside she just must be scared. She loves when I sing certain songs and will bounce her legs and arms and laugh. She laughs a lot and I video her. She loves music on, I put on a dvd of lawrence welk or elvis and I can tell her is happy. But then.....most of the time she is solemn and her hours are just stares and nothing phases her, very sad. Her doctor is my doctor and he has told me so many times to just keep her warm and comfortable , they can go on many years like this. I had a friend who also took care of her Mother and she was completely bedridden for 5 years until she passed and got pneumonia several times. My Mom can hold her head up still and unless she couldnt, I keep her moving. When we have the grandkids over and our kids, etc, I put her out with us in a recliner or wheelchair. I think to myself, what if she knows exactly whats going on and wants to hear it all but cannot express it? (she is legally blind also and lost vision in half of each eye from a cerebrel hemmorage she also had ) I think the same thing, when do I get my life back, but I dont want to lose her for my life either when I see her smile and laugh, you know? So, yes, the great care you can give at home will keep them living many years. They wont contract infections or get good food fed to them which takes hours a day that no one else could take the time to do. My solution is to hire help because my nerves were frazzeled. Its so hard to find good help but when you get someone its great. I now have someone almost every morning to get her up, washed and dressed for me. I then take over for the day and occcasionally I get weekend help but thats hard to find and hard to train someone for also, seems no one has patience these days, they just want the paycheck. Moms doctor told me at the stage she is in, if she went into a nursing home she would go straight downhill and die, I could never live with that. Ive been at this 7 years now. We went thru every stage including the anger and wandering but I medicated her at that time to get through it. I do know one thing, when I say "can I have a kiss Mom?" she gives me one 99% of the time, sometimes she tries to eat my cheek, lol ! Hang in there and lots of love.
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At some point soon, she will stop eating. Shortly after that, she will stop drinking and you need Hospice. Even now, she may aspirate some food and that can lead to a fatal case of pneumonia. If she has been this way unchanged for 9 months, it may not be alzheimers, but stroke damage. Has there been a formal diagnosis?
Winters are very hard on NH patients and Flu season takes a lot of lives.
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In going to alzheimer's support groups, the facilitator says she does not like to say stages because people are different and there are times they may go backward, forward or stay in a holding pattern. So basically there is no way to tell. There will be a day that you guys do something that triggers her memory and she will sit and have a conversation with you and be able to call you all by name, then the next two minutes go back to the way she was. So try and not put a stage to it and just take one day at a time. Hope this helps. God bless you all and I pray continued strength for you and your family.
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If any of you are not offended (even if you are I guess) there are more common sense and as my ebook reads "Bold Actions for Helping Older Parents. It is very helpful and supportive to join a caregiver support group and then ask these questions because you will get much better one on one. I talk about Bold Actions because there are so many questions that can be quickly answered so adult children or spouse caregivers can not just be talked to, but really have information to get on with and get solutions and get a better chance at relieving all that goes on in your day to day life with so many of these predicaments lingering and you only worry more and more and keep looking for answers. What you need for relief is to get into action. I am Bold as my title says because I have seen the emotional torture we have all gone through with aging parents and I just know there are safer strategic ways to get on with you and your parents better lifestyle.
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I have not personally dealt with an Alzheimer's patient, but I did with a stroke patient and he lost his ability to speak and could not eat much by mouth, but I did have the hospital provide him a feeding tube. That may be an option for you loved one. And he had to keep a feeding tube until his unfortunate passing.
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Bignewyork I am sorry to hear you are going through this. Is your Mom in nursing home? Do you have her on hospice care? Does Mom have a DNR and Health Directives in place? If so, what do those documents say about end of life care?
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Most doctors will be honest and say there really are no stages that can be identified. Even if there were, it doesn't change what you are going through. Dementia facilities do so much that will keep your parents in a more calming and safe atmosphere. If the parent too sick into the disease, then a nursing home at least can help them better than 12 children who have no experience in how to help mom or dad. Sure we love them, so go take action and find a community that is suited to providing the appropriate lifestyle needed as the disease progresses. Good luck. I know it isn't easy, but don't stay in "procrastination Purgatory".
30 year experienced author of "Bold Actions for Helping Older Parents".
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See this article on the Alzheimer's Association website.
http://www.alz.org/nyc/in_my_community_17737.asp
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We care for my wife's mom with the disease. She has been in her final stage for almost 2 years. When we get discouraged, frustrated and yea, sometimes just d*m mad, we think about the alternative. We relate it to having a giant 1 year old, that never learns. She now spends more days in bed than out. We shower her every day, feed her puree twice a day (for 2 hours) and feed er juice thu a straw (sometimes we use a syringe) We give her round suckers throughout the day to prevent her from drooling and help her retain her memory of swallowing and sucking through a straw. Her bedsores are minimal, mostly because of a receipe I took from a cancer website. Combine 3 equal parts of
hydrocortisone cream (1% or more) A&D ointment (or generic) and liquid anti-acid (like Maylox or a generic). This has been a miracle worker for us
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