Health & Fitness

What Are the Symptoms of the Final Stages of Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people globally and is one of the main types of dementia. The disease slowly affects cognitive functions, leading to memory loss and the inability to perform daily tasks. Eventually, it reaches its final stage where symptoms become severe and unmanageable. In this article, we explore the symptoms of the final stages of Alzheimer’s. Keep reading for more information.


Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Its Progression


Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects memory and cognitive abilities. Over time, as the disease advances, these symptoms gradually worsen leading to severe impairment. For a thorough understanding, and to educate yourself and your loved ones about what to expect, you can explore what are the symptoms of the final stages of Alzheimer’s by doing research online. Generally, Alzheimer’s disease progression is divided into three stages: Early (mild), Middle (moderate), and Late (severe).

The disease duration can vary from person to person, ranging from a few years to more than a decade. A major aspect of dealing with Alzheimer’s is understanding and recognizing its progression. Early detection of symptoms can manage the disease effectively and slow its progression through various interventions.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Advanced Alzheimer’s

As Alzheimer’s progresses towards its final stage, symptoms become more severe. Memory loss deepens to the extent that familiarities fade away, and recognizing close family members becomes a challenge. Alongside, cognitive abilities markedly decline. Difficulty in communication increases as vocabulary shrinks and understanding sentences gets harder. The ability to think logically and analyze problems is drastically affected.

Motor functions are severely impaired in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. Patients often find it hard to walk without assistance and coordinating movement becomes a considerable challenge. Sleeping patterns become erratic with increased nighttime waking and difficulty in establishing a sleep-wake cycle. Some people also tend to lose weight during advanced stages due to changes in eating habits and appetite.

Physical Changes in the Final Stages of Alzheimer’s

In the final stages, a person with Alzheimer’s disease experiences profound physical changes. These can range from a significant reduction in physical activity to being bed-bound as mobility decreases. Muscle mass declines substantially, and weight loss becomes more pronounced. Swallowing difficulties arise, potentially increasing the risk of choking or developing aspiration pneumonia.

The body’s immune system becomes weak, making the person more susceptible to infections. Pneumonia is a common cause of death among those with advanced Alzheimer’s due to the increased vulnerability to infections. As the person’s physical health declines, their need for round-the-clock care increases. At this late stage, palliative care is often the most appropriate course of treatment to provide comfort and ease suffering.

Emotional and Behavioral Changes at the End Stage of Alzheimer’s

The final stages of Alzheimer’s can cause emotional and behavioral changes. Patients may exhibit mood swings, agitation, aggression, and irritability. Anxiety and depression are also common, with patients often seeming withdrawn or unresponsive. Episodes of confusion or disorientation may increase, often worse in the late afternoons and evenings, a phenomenon known as ‘sundowning’.

These emotional fluctuations can be challenging for caregivers. It’s essential to approach situations with patience, respect, and understanding. Consulting with mental health professionals for advice on dealing with these changes can be beneficial. Providing a calm and familiar environment can minimize anxiety and agitation. Listening to soothing music, gentle touch, and maintaining a routine can allow the person to feel more secure.

How Medical Professionals Determine the Final Stages of Alzheimer’s


Medical professionals determine the final stage of Alzheimer’s based on cognitive, physical, and functional assessments. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) or the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) might be used. Physical assessments consider motor skills and the ability to perform activities of daily living. Caregivers’ reports regarding the patient’s behavior, mood changes, and other reported symptoms are also taken into account.

Specialists may also use brain imaging tests to monitor the advancement of the disease. PET scans can show the amyloid plaques, and MRI scans provide insights into brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s. These regular assessments are critical to monitor disease progression and make necessary adjustments to care plans and treatments.

As this article indicates, understanding the various stages, particularly the end stages of Alzheimer’s, is imperative to provide effective care and maximize the patient’s quality of life. Each stage comes with its unique challenges, but with knowledge, patience, and professional guidance, it is possible to navigate them compassionately. Follow these tips and you’ll be as prepared as you can be for the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease.


Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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