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my dad is 75 and was diagnosed with lung cancer Jan 09, he also has been suffering with alzheimers for at least 4 years. he has had bowel incontinence since January of this year and started urine incontinence in July. he has recently started having more trouble finding words and forming sentences.

this week he has made more changes, he forgets how to work his lighter (yep still smoking) and when I give him his meds I have to instruct him step by step (put these in your mouth, take a drink of this) and today he choked taking them and then again eating his lunch. his appetite is good. I will see the hospice nurse on tuesday but was wandering if the last stage goes faster and what experiences other care givers have with last stage.
I read these boards all the time and thank God for them as this job is the hardest thing I've had to do. god bless all of you

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As you know, there are 7 stages. Hospice will guide you, but there is no magical curve for predicting the rate of advance. Trouble swallowing indicates the involuntary muscle groups are being affected, since the esophagus normally contracts to move food along. Make him comfortable and do not force him to eat, this will only lead to aspiration pneumonia. Soft foods are easier to get down the hatch. Prayers for you and your family.
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I don't have any experience with a loved one passing from Alzheimer's but my sister was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in August, made it though one surgery, one round of chemo and some radiation without any good results. She quit work (she had been working 1/2 days) in January and within four days was unresponsive. She was taken by ambulance to the hospice house and passed away 8 days later. I'm glad she didn't suffer long, but oh how I wish I had known she would go from walking and talking to unresponsive within about 36 hours. I wish someone would have told me she only had a few days left so I could have gathered our family around her to say good-bye.

God bless you and give you peace as you go through this. Treasure each day as it comes. I know you will never be sorry later for the enjoyable memories you are building now.
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Just wishing you the best. The nurse or doctor will know more, but it sounds serious.
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