3) Late-stage AD
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease get progressively severe in the later stages, which can be distressing and overwhelming for the patients, as well as their caregivers, friends, and family. Patients in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease lose the capacity to respond to their surroundings and carry out daily tasks. AD patients may have impaired speech and subsequent communication with their relatives and friends. Marked disturbed behavior and delusions may get worse as the disease progress. patients can rarely still express themselves, as memory and cognitive skills deteriorate severely affecting communication skills. Not all AD patients progress to this stage of the disease but if so, they need intensive assistance with everyday tasks. Patients at this stage may show:
- Marked confusion and disorientation of time and person.
- A greater vulnerability to infections especially pneumonia (lung inflammation).
- Significant recalling of short-term and long-term memories.
- Marked impairment of urination and bowels.
- Difficulty in eating and swallowing (dysphagia) which will eventually lead to significant loss of weight.
- Inability to identify objects.