End Stage Dementia

End Stage Dementia not only affects sufferers of dementia, but also the family and caretakers of the disease. It is important to know that dementia is not just a problem of memory, but also has an affect on speech, physiology, eating habits and to those closest to the sufferer. But what is most important for you to know, is there are things that can be done to help both afflicted and affected during this trying time.

Signs and symptoms

Not all experiences with dementia are the same. Each individual has their own hurdles to climb. Most common symptoms include:

  • Weakening of the body
  • Loss of concentration
  • Inability to recognize familiar objects or people
  • Sudden confusion
  • Fear or anger
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Complete loss of memory or self

It is vital to know these symptoms; both for the patient and caregiver, so both know what to expect, and plan for the future. The sufferer of dementia can make plans prior to the end stage, to help in the decision making process, such as: where and how they would like to be treated and taken care of. There are also external, emotional support groups to help families and caretakers deal with such issues. Organisations such as: The Alzheimer’s Society’s National Dementia Helpline can give you more information on this and other issues.

Communication Problems

Another aspect of dementia, is the hampering or complete loss of communicating verbally. This indeed is a very challenging time, but it is impetrative to understand that communication is not only verbal. Non-verbal display is very important for the
well-being of both patient and caregiver. Though, the sufferer may not be able to communicate; kind gestures, physical contact and just a simple smile go a long way to communicate the more important messages. For caregivers and family members; remember to be attentive to facial expressions and body language.

Loss of Memory

The most well-known side effect is memory loss and reversion to the past. Like all other hurdles, the caregiver and family must see this as an opportunity to get to know their loved one better and also family history. Of severe memory loss, persons may still be responsive to art, music, storytelling, kindness, and most importantly; touch.

Eating Habits

The most common side effect in terms of diet include; loss of appetite. It is advisable for the caregiver to ensure their patient is getting enough nutrients and is constantly hydrating. Also, in fewer cases, this disease can also lead to over-eating, so it’s important for family or staff to monitor the dietary habits of the person.

What Can you Do?

There are a lot of things you can do to make your love one more comfortable, and feel at ease. As mentioned before, touch, kindness or just simply listening go a long way, for yourself and the patient. Things such as, creating a stress-free environment, dimming lights, and retaining a relaxing surroundings are helpful strategies.

Help and Treatment

Medications such as anti-dementia can be taken to treat this illness, as well as serotonin to treat anxiety or depression. It is important to consult your doctor about which drugs are right for the patient. Please keep in mind that these drugs reduce symptoms and should be taken in moderation.