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I know this is a long out there question..but my mom is in stage 7..she cannot feed herself cannot walk..cannot care on a full conversation..there are using a hoyer on her she loss control of bowels and all..does stage 7 know to last as long as the other stages..i heard 1-6 years..just curious..

This is a question that my wife have been asking and I will share our experience with you.

My mother-in-law has been suffering for about 10 years and has lived with us for the last three years and passed away recently. The first answer that I've learned is that the end usually comes as a result of a complication (broken hip, infection, pneumonia).

My mother-in-law started wondering about a year ago and got very unsteady about 4 months ago, commonly just collapsing as she stood or was walking. Two months ago she wondered into the front yard, got to the driveway, collapsed and broke her hip. She then went into the hospital and had hip surgery and the anesthesia dramatically increased her dementia. She was transported to a skilled nursing facility and hospice was brought in to help us manage the process. They put her on pain meds to keep her comfortable. After the hospital, she was 99% non-communicative. She didn't eat anything substantially for about 45 days and ultimately wasn't able to take any fluids. After 5 days she passed.

My understanding is that this is a very common scenario with dementia and just thought that I'd share. Good luck to you.
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Josephine, Bless your heart! Sending many hugs your way! I am so sorry for the both of you. Dementia is so very, very cruel! I thought watching loved ones die from cancer was the worst, but I was so wrong! God bless you both & give you the strength & peace to keep going forward in faith.
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Oh Josephine, I am very sorry and feel awful for both of you. He's SO young, it's just not fair. I can imagine your heart is breaking. May God give you comfort.

For both your sakes, I hope the Good Lord is merciful and brings your husband home to Heaven to rest and be well again.
I will include you both in our prayers at night. Hold on to God for strength.
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Josephine, I'm so sorry.
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Hello All
Only just joined in. Been with my beloved 66 year old husband for several hours today. I'm with him most days. He's in a Care Home. He's in Stage 7 - diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimers in 2010 aged 58. He choked badly yesterday and today carers and me in tears as we thought he was entering his 'end of life' phase as hadn't eaten or drunk for 24 hours. What happens next : he perks up, accepts his supper (puréed), drinks his thickened juice, tries to sing along to Classic FM, answers no when I ask if he's ever sung that song and smiles at me!! He's VERY thin, bedridden (5 months now), doubly incontinent, hardly speaks, pulls at his bedding constantly but continues to love his classical music, and seems to know me in and out of his staring into space. I can't believe this terrible state of affairs can go on for much longer, and the above posts fill me with dread - another few years? Please no, for his sake. I weep constantly as he was a vibrant classical singer and Home Office Civil Servant, and our retirement has been stolen from us. The cruelty of dementia. I feel for you all. Truly I do. With love to all who suffer.
Josephine xxx
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Catsmima Sep 12, 2018
Our situations are so similar ! My Ex was also diagnosed at 58 - now 68!
I became involved when he was a Stage 4 at age 65. Three years later he is now a Late Stage - 7B.
Although he has not been able to do anything for himself for a year now; he could walk. Broken hip in June of this year and surgery has taken that away . I care for him in my home and last month placed on Hospice. He sleeps 18-20 hours; but when up he sits in his chair and hums.....being non verbal ..... no words, but hums.
No words can describe how horrible this disease is ......
being classified as a “ stair stepper “, I check on him throughout the night and fear finding he has passed.
He does not gradually go from Stage to Stage ( 4 Stages in 4 years), but rather goes to sleep one person and wakes up another.
My heart goes out to you and pray for you to have strength as you go through this journey with your husband.
Catsmima
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Mother has vascular dementia, but I have read that the final stages of the dementias are similar. She was put on "comfort care" (basically hospice - we are in Canada) about a year ago. She is immobile, (needs a wheelchair and Hoyer lift) and only says a few words, but recognises family. She still enjoys food, is fed pureed foods, and hasn't lost any weight, nor does she get infections. Her colouring is great - pink cheeks! She is 105, coming up 106 in May, and could live like this for some time yet, I think. She sleeps in the afternoons and through the night. We moved her to an NH in October (from an ALF) and they do a great job of caring for her, and trying to engage her in activities, like attending a sing song, but she is not much interested. At times, she says she is in pain, (muscles and joints, I believe) so I have authorized them upping the doses of painkillers as needed. She has been ready to go since she reached 100, but her body isn't ready. There is not much quality of life at this stage.
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I posted here 8 months ago. My mom is still with us. She can still chew and swallow but sometimes needs to be prompted to swallow. She can not sit up. She does say a coherent word or phrase occasionally. She is sleeping more. Her weight is down to 75 lbs. She smiles occasionally but they are getting fewer and farther between. Mom has great skin, no break down, but we work hard to maintain that. She has been on hospice for over 11 months. It is nice to have the CNA to help with bathing twice a week and the nurse comes once a week to check her vitals and lungs. Her lungs stay clear. I had the flu twice, she never got it. The hospice Dr will come next week to requalify her. She is just not ready to leave this Earth I guess... So we will just keep loving her.
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Idahogirl, I am in the midst of all you have described with my dad. He has been in an Alzheimer’s care facility for 2 yrs, ever since loosing ability to walk. He now is bedridden and struggles to eat having lost over 60 lbs from time of admission. I am doing exactly what you advise and visit/feed him most every day at dinner time. Some days he knows me and other days only stares, but I am still content to be with him. When I am overwhelmed I think about the day he is gone and know I will have no regrets as I have done all I could. I’m trusting God for strength and to be with him all the way “home”!💗
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Thanks for all your comment..yep it is hard to watch this..and I am the only daughter that is helping..but everybody’s words help me a lot and for that thank you..my mom is now lossing weight loss 13 pounds in 2 mths..at times when you give her a bite of food you have to tell her to sallow..thanks again..
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There is also an issue which can exacerbate their survival time in the 7th stage, though likely it developed in earlier stages. It is called Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). This is a good explanation (https://www.alz.org/dementia/normal-pressure-hydrocephalus-nph.asp). My friend's mom has this, and as it gets worse, so does the symptoms of Alzheimer's progression. As the CS fluid builds up in the ventricles, they walk with a leaning gait to the left or right. It is doubly tough when they have both NPH and AZ, though it takes an MRI, and a neurologist to diagnose. The seventh stage COULD be shortened when this dual diagnosis occurs, as NPH puts pressure on the brain, though I have not found any article which gives a timeline. My point is that many people assume their LO's have dementia, when NPH could be the culprit. It takes an MRI to determine one, the other, or both. If both, then as NPH increases, the stages of A-F may progress more rapidly than routine article say.
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It certainly is hard to watch the decline. I see that I posted on this thread 5 months ago and since then, my LO has declined quite a bit. In fact, she's now barely able to sit and likely moving to a supportive chair. Her doctor ordered her a hospital bed and she can barely talk. Sometimes, she can feed herself finger food, but, must be fed her meals by spoon. She can still chew and swallow ok, as long as the food is chopped. I fear that will be her next struggle. She also no longer uses her feet to scoot around in her wheelchair. It's sad, because, I know that eventually, she will be bedbound. I hate to see her go through that, but, she is on Palliative Care. Her primary doesn't feel she is right for Hospice just yet, though, I tend to disagree. I'm weighing on how to approach that now.  She hasn't lost any weight, though, she has had a few infections over the last 6 months. 
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my dad is also in stage 7 and has stopped swallowing and to watch him leave this earth is very painful. I've taken care of my dad for the past 12 years and have seen the progression of Alzheimer's. It breaks my heart to see him deteriorate and not be able to do anything to stop it . I thought about the feeding tube but after reading many articles and speaking too doctors I decided against it .
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One more thing I know you love your Mother but remember to take the time to take care of yourself. Take an hour off go out to lunch ask someone to sit with her for an hour. You really do need this you can burn out during this stage.
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I'm sorry I meant to say love and prayers you and your family.
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It is different for every person the love and care that you give will make it easier on her. If you decide to give meds for such things as pneumonia ect. It will prolong the process. I know you love your Mother can tell by the question, not wanting to see her suffer is one thing that always plays on a persons mind. She's still there ask her if she wants any further treatment, you will know by her expressions if she does. Alzheimer's and dementia are fiends that rob a person of ones self being they can hear but have a hard time understanding what you say they can't speak the words they want to say because their minds won't let them. Loosing the ability to control their bowel and bladder is embarrassing to them they can't express this feeling but it is. The one thing that is important is to love them, talk calmly, make sure that she sees you come into the room, remind her of who you are by saying for instance " hi mom it's me (say your name) I came in here to make sure you are okay" when you repeat your name they become familiar with the sound of it. Don't be discouraged if at first she looks at you in a strange way. Her mind is trying to remember. Taking care of someone you love is hard but watching them slip away is even harder. I took care of my mother until she passed when I would walk in to the room she would just stare at me until I said the words I told you to say. Live and prayers for you and your family.
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My mom is a bit different. She has alzheimers and has had for many years. I knew something was not right back in 2009 and she didn't get diagnosed until 2012, but we knew in 2011. She then had a stroke in 2013 that left her left side too weak to walk and her brain was too far gone to train her to walk again. Since then she has gone from stage 5 to stage 7 in four years. Looking over the sub-stages in the last stage, my guess is she is in stage 7c going into 7d... Last year it was 7a... She stopped talking early this year. Today, she has hospice care, her limbs do not function and she is having swallowing issues.
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My father was in stage 7 about 6 months or less. When entering stage 7, dad stopped being on puree food and was put on pure liquid food (puree is a little thicker) from coughing from the thicker puree food. He rarely said 2 words in a row at this point, had already been incontinent for about 2.5 yrs at this point, ate fairly good but had to be fed, had already lost the ability to walk in about stage 5. When he started choking at the end of the 7th stage on his food and couldn't swallow hardly at all, not even water without major coughing, and got dehydrated, and could not do an IV drip as his veins would collapse,  it was almost 4 days later when he passed at that point. When they reach the liquid runny food stage, and start losing weight from it, they are in about the last several months of life. When they cannot eat anymore or drink from choking on it, then its just several days left.  He passed away 3 1/2 yrs ago and I miss him terribly, and always will. You never get over the grief, you just learn to tolerate it. Be with them as much as you can because some day they will be gone forever.............until I see my dad in Heaven some day, my life will never be the same.
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It really does vary as to when someone succumbs to dementia. I have read that Alzheimers's patients may progress differently from other types, but, once the person has late stage, bed ridden, can't eat, can't move, type thing, they appear to be in a similar state to me.

I realize that the residents in the Memory Care where my LO resides likely have any number of causes for their dementia, but, many of them have passed way since my LO moved in. She's been there for 3 years and a number of those in her wing have passed away. She's lost 2 roommates and many other friends there.

I have read a lot about Vascular Dementia and often it gives the life expectancy from diagnosis to death as 4 years.  I have no idea if that is accurate, but, it's an average expectancy.  Based on my LO's progression since this all started, I think that it may be about right. 
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We are easily on four years, and have been told this may last another few years. Mom has great care. No walking for six years, no self feeding for three years, or toileting for at least six years, marginal speech - "yes," "no," sometimes, but not always. No smiles. Skin is breaking down - three years ago she was put on hospice and then discharged once the bedsore issue was resolved. 
I check her weight at the facility monthly - she is gaining weight because she is like a goldfish, and eats everything they offer to her. 
We have been told that this could go on for several more years, easily. Save your money. It only gets worse.
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Thanks so much for everyone comments and help to understand...my mom is the only one in our family that has alz...so this is all new to me...thanks again..
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Oops, wrong thread!
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oops, wrong thread
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jjariz;
It appears that Motherof5's mother has progressed to Stage 7c if not 7d. (We would need a breakdown of her abilities.) As I understand the scale, you count FROM the stage they're in, going forward. Assuming each stage lasts the amount of time given, she appears to be at 7c. She could have up to 3-1/2 years left. The reality is that patients become more susceptible to infections and pneumonia and some don't make it all the way to 7f (then death). Also, this scale doesn't mention anything about difficulty or inability to swallow or how long a person can last through that stage.

taken from your 2nd site; www.mccare.com/pdf/fast.pdf
Stage 7a Severe Dementia-(speaks 5-6 words a day)-expected untreated (unmedicated with Alz. drugs) duration of this stage is 12 mo.
Stage 7b Severe Dementia-(speaks only 1 word clearly) duration is 18 mo.
Stage 7c Severe Dementia-(can no longer walk) duration is 12 mo.
Stage 7d Severe Dementia-(can no longer sit up) duration is 12 mo.
Stage 7e Severe Dementia-(can no longer smile) duration is 18 mo.
Stage 7f Severe Dementia-(can no longer hold head up) duration is 12 mo.+


Taken from 'Dementia Care Central' (your 1st website)
Stage 7:
Very Severe Cognitive Decline (Late Dementia)
"People in this stage have essentially no ability to speak or communicate. They require assistance with most activities (e.g., using the toilet, eating). They often lose psychomotor skills, for example, the ability to walk. Average duration: 2.5 years."

This description is poorly worded. "They require 'assistance' using the toilet". No, they require TOTAL care and are not able to walk, even with assistance, to the toilet. They are incontinent of both urine and feces and are bedridden, using diapers and a caregiver to clean them. For this reason, I don't think this reference is accurate information.

As I'm interpreting the above scale, if motherof5's mom is already showing she can no longer speak, walk or eat on her own, she would progress to the next stage and start counting from there. She's possibly at 7d, giving her (without other medical problems) possibly 3 1/2 years before passing. These are AVERAGES of how long a person CAN last in a particular stage. Each person is different and depends on many other factors, (existing medical conditions, genetics, caregiving, etc.).

Motherof5, I mistakenly thought your mom wasn't eating (due to difficulty swallowing) also. My error. That's the reason I mentioned such a short amount of time. I'm sorry. In the end only God knows the date. We're only guessing.
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My mom has been stage seven for over a year. She is incontinent, bowel and bladder. She is hand fed and given drinks. She hasn't walked in over 2 years. She mostly just rambles, but occasionally will surprise us with a coherent sentence. The only med she takes is a small dose of Seroquel to help with agitation. Her swallow is still fairly strong, but she is beginning to have a delay and needs to be prompted. She still has the cough reflex. She eats/drink about 800-1,000 calories a day but is losing weight, 15 lbs in the past 3 months putting her at a whapping 80 lbs. She has great skin with no break down. She still smiles and occasionally still tells me she loves me. I have no idea how long she will be with us. I just spend each day loving her and making her as happy and comfortable as possible. We, too, will let her go naturally...no feeding tubes or ER for her. Sorry no answer to your question. I often think I wish I knew when it would happen. I think she could go tomorrow or it may be a couple years. Hang in there and just love your mom.
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This website says 2.5 years is average. https://www.dementiacarecentral.com/aboutdementia/facts/stages/
This website says 7 years is average. https://www.mccare.com/pdf/fast.pdf
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Hi Motherof5,
Oh dear, no, Stage 7 doesn't last anywhere near 6 years. There is no exact time frame but people in this weakened condition are susceptible to a variety of health problems, which speeds up the time of their passing. The brain is no longer sending signals to the body (like hunger, talking, repositioning, elimination, etc.). That's why they don't react.

I hate to be so blunt but often the immobility (bedridden status), coupled with the lack of cough reflex (from weakness), coupled with the swallowing difficulties (where food and liquid can be sucked into their lungs) can turn into pneumonia. Pneumonia is what finally terminates their life. Or, they succumb to systemic infections because they have a compromised immune system. My best guess would be 6-12 months. If you aggressively try to treat the infections (pneumonias, other infections, etc.) you will be prolonging her life (and suffering) to only stretch out the inevitable, her passing. If she is on any medications, and is unable to swallow them, then she could have deterioration from the lack of medications also. But placing a feeding tube (a gastrostomy tube put directly into the stomach by a hole made in the abdomen) doesn't always help either. My dad had one when he was in the dying process and the liquid food just stayed in the stomach-it didn't move down like it was supposed to. They had to stop the "feedings" because his body was taking over and was in "dying mode".

They have done studies that suggest that letting the body's natural course take place is the least painful and least disturbing to the patient. That is how I will let my mom be on her way (she's in stage 6).

We normally treat any physical problem but, in this case, the body is trying to shut down and we are preventing that from happening by giving treatment (medications, tubes for feeding, etc.).


See on this board; How long can a person live after reaching the last stages of Alzheimer's Disease
Asked by neiseo99

God bless you Momof5, this is a heart wrenching time.
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