Changes Experienced in Stage 3
Stage 3 is also known as ‘end-stage’ dementia, because it signifies the final years of the disease. At the end of this stage, your parent will pass away. Assistance from a counselor at your local dementia organization and hospice, and a physician specializing in dementia and related diseases can help you and your parent enormously during this very difficult time.
Stage 3 Checklist
/_/ My parent needs total assistance with transferring from bed to chair, eating, walking, and every activity of daily living.
/_/ My parent has difficulty swallowing.
/_/ My parent refuses to eat.
/_/ My parent no longer recognizes himself or family members.
/_/ My parent rarely or never communicates.
Body and Functions
/_/ My parent sleeps most of the time.
/_/ My parent has had a significant weight loss.
/_/ My parent’s skin bruises or tears easily
/_/ My parent is completely incontinent of bowel and bladder.
We now understand that dementia is a long-term disease. Patients may survive as long as 20 years from diagnosis, so you may be a caregiver for two years or two decades. Caring for a loved one with dementia is one of the most difficult jobs in the caregiving spectrum, and you need and deserve help – the financial losses, loss of quality of life, and loss of self make it vital.
To give good care, you have to look after yourself too. Ongoing support and learning more about what it means to be a caregiver can help you avoid or minimize the effects of depression and loss of quality of life, and provide you with the information you need to understand the illness and make informed decisions.