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Dad's Alzheimer's is progressing and I was wondering what to expect near the end. His speech is so hard to understand. Sometimes he mumbles in German. (German was his main language as a child.) He is starting to need help feeding himself. He seems to be unaware that we are even sitting next to him at times. Can these symptoms get worse? Are we getting close to the end?

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Thinking back to Edwardcaretaker's post.

Alzheimers robs the person, also of, physical feeling. Not as in someone who is physically paralyzed and no longer can feel their extremities. But someone might go out in -32F and freeze to death, or 115F and die of thirst. In both cases not being able to discern the danger they are putting themselves in.
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Alzheimer's affects every single person differently so you have to take it on a case by case basis. usually in late stage Alzheimer's people begin losing perception of their surroundings as well as recent events. They may also have increased trouble communicating, swallowing and walking. For your case I would advise seeking the advice of a professional. However, these are usually the symptoms of end-stage Alzheimer's

(Brooklyn, 11229)
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Cetude, after reading your comment I'm left wondering, can a person on Medicaid NOT have Hospice?

It's my understanding that all cases are not alike. I do know that we moved my mother last week from an assisted living to s nursing facility, and she has improved tremendously. I've heard this could be temporary, and I firmly believe in the power of prayer, and prayer is helping her.
To try and help answer the original question, just try and take one day at a time, and seek support from Alzheimer's Association. Try not to focus as much on the future, but take care of TODAY, one day at a time, making decisions as the need arises. This will make it much easier on you as a caregiver.
Blessings.
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Organs will start to shut down.
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My mother was always in great physical shape and never wanted to sit down for more than a couple minutes. At the very end of her Alzheimer's, she started falling down because she would spend her days and nights walking the hallways of her assisted living facility. She lived with Daddy until three months before she died. he did the best he could but half the time her clothes were on backwards and dirty... And she kept falling down very hard... Slamming her head on the wood floor. I firmly believe the coumadin she was on caused her to bleed out. When they would put her to bed in the memory care unit she would pull herself out of the bed and fall on the floor. hospice was brought in and kept her comfortable and gave her drugs to help her relax .Finally she stopped eating and died a few days later. I strongly believe if we had put her in assisted living earlier in her progression she would have lived longer. But as her doctor told me, there was no upside to prolonging her life. She no longer had any quality of life, even though she would laugh and smile, she must have been in tremendous pain at the end and unable to tell us. It was so horrible to watch such an accomplished and intelligent woman become a blathering idiot squatting on the floor and going to the restroom in front of strangers. My mother was a very proper woman in her day. This disease is a heartbreaker and there is no upside. The best thing you that the person dies as soon as possible. I am telling you this and my mother was my best friend. I still prayed for her to die so she could go to heaven and be with her mother and not be confused and in pain anymore.
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I have another comment about end stage Alzheimer's disease, but this one is controversial. I believe in Palliative Care at the end of life. Once the person is at the last stage and recognizes no one, has significantly reduced awareness of his/her surroundings and very reduced quality of life, I suggest calling in Hospice, getting an evaluation and following their doctor's advice to stop all medications, unless something needs to remain to assist sleep or behavior challenges. I don't believe that we need to make sure the person lives longer at that point. We need to let nature take its course and to permit our loved one to leave us.
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The first Axiom is: When you know one Azheimer's diseased person, you know one Alzheimer's diseased person. The stages are generalizations from observing so many, but each person's illness progresses individually. The hospice agency and I thought my husband was near dying several times throughout four years.
He perked up and when he WAS close to dying, we didn't know it. He began having aspirational difficulties-he was wheezing-on Sunday. Hospice brought in a hospital bed Sunday night so his head could be raised. He never got out of that bed, he stopped eating and died three days later.
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Stages 7: Very Severe Decline. Stage seven is the final stage of Alzheimer's disease. Because Alzheimer's disease is a terminal illness, patients in stage seven are nearing death. In stage seven of the disease, patients lose ability to respond to their environment or communicate.
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I think the decline of Alzheimer's has more to do with immobility than anything else. They usually succumb to pneumonia or blood clots. That's why I keep my mom going and I walk her daily.
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The blessing of Alzheimer's is that eventually they are no longer aware they have it, and essentially nothing bothers them. The difficulties are the caregivers who go through it all just meeting their basic needs. Eventually they will want to stop eating because the body is shutting down; at this point you may want to discuss with your doctor about hospice care if your loved one is not on Medicaid. Now my mom is 86 years old in the later stages of Alzheimer's to the point she speaks in Japanese (her native tongue) and she does not like to move around. I walk her daily now--it took 10 months but now she can walk a quarter of a mile with her walker and that seemed to help her a lot. She falls a lot less, and when she does she's able to get herself up -- I just give her a chair to hang onto and she can get up on her own. She could not do that before. So yes I would say daily walks--MANDATORY seven days a week--has done her a lot of good and she actually improved rather than deteriorated. Start them out very easy. It has to be a very very very gradual process. I mean it does take a LONG TIME to get a little progress. But walking must be done DAILY.
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The brain will stop wanting food and he will pass. He will not feel hungry so don't feel bad. Or, vascular problems. This was explained to me by my wife's hospice nurse. There are pamphlets they can give you.
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My husband is at that stage now too. He needs to be fed. He can't talk of do anything for himself. He seemed unaware of most things, but the other day I took the dog to visit and he came awake. I don't know if it will happen again but it was wonderful. He talked in understandable sentences, walked and smiled. All things I haven't seen for a couple of months. It was a marvelous and miraculous day for us! He is very healthy. Usually the Alz doesn't kill them, but some other thing, like cancer or heart disease, stroke. I figure he could live another 5 years like this. But I hope not. For his sake I wish he would go to sleep and not wake up. Life is really difficult for him, even though he doesn't know it. I don't believe in living that way could be enjoyable for anyone.. But I love him so much and just want him to go to Heaven and be normal again. I believe this with all my heart.
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To answer your question, yes, the symptoms can get worse. Alzheimer's is a progressive brain disease. It can eventually impact all areas of a person's functioning...talking, feeding, dressing, comprehension, etc. I encourage you to contact the Alzheimer's Association in your state. The national website is alz.org.
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When my maternal grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimers in his early 60's, back in 1975(I was 8 n' my brother was 6). My maternal aunt, mother, myself, and my younger brother. All moved into my maternal grandparent's house. To help my maternal grandmother care for my maternal grandfather. My maternal grandfather's lucidity deteriorated to the point which. He thought my brother n' I were members' of the county sheriffs department, coming to get him. We all took turns feeding him. He would give an NFL kicker/punter, a run for their money. Every time he spat his meds out. He died in 1976, respectively 10 n' 14yrs. before my cousins on my mother's side of the family were born. So, They didn't have to cope with his rapid decline. One day my brother n' I came home from school. To find our mother, grandmother n' aunt. All crying. My grandfather had died five minutes before my brother n' I, had walked in the door. Coming home from school.
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