For dementia patients, are there identifiable signs that "the end is near"?

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Mom is 97 and has lived with my husband and me since her 90th birthday, when she had a serious episode that left her severely dehydrated, unable to feed herself or otherwise use her hands for normal life tasks, disorientation to the present, and a further decrease in short term memory. In rehab, she recovered an amazing amount of physical functioning; not so much mental recovery. She has been and continues to be very easy to get along with, but also moves with more and more difficulty, has increasing incontinence issues, and sleeps more and more hours of the day. Medically, her body is still robust and she tells me that based on my family, I'll probably live a pretty long life. LOL So ... I'm just curious about how to not get taken by surprise if there are things I should recognize as warning signs. She seems healthy, but withdrawing from more and more of life. Any guidance appreciated.

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When it comes to a lot of sleeping, that is mainly because she is 97 years old, she's lived a very long time, thus she is very tired. Not unusual.

Another thing that happens, once an elder is placed some place [such as rehab] that isn't home, they will go to a level of confusion because of all the new faces, new routines, new sounds. My Mom thought she was on vacation and staying at a hotel, not realizing she was in long-term-care.

Now your Mom might recover after being back home, it will take time. Or she might not. It depends on what happened to her memory. For my Mom it was complications from a serious fall at home. We thought in the final weeks she was improving as she was chatty [even though nothing made much sense] and she was starting to feed herself.

Then my Mom would be awake one day, asleep the next, and wouldn't want to eat. Hospice was on watch for the last 2 months, and they were pretty much on the nose when they said that Mom's strong heart was failing. You will sense when you think it is time to call in Hospice for an evaluation. Hospice will give you an upfront opinion.
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