The final stages of Alzheimer’s disease can be the most challenging for friends and family of a person with the disease. If you need to, take a look back at the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Stage 6 is known as “moderately severe” or “mid-stage” Alzheimer’s disease. In this stage, cognitive decline is severe. A person at this stage may experience:
- Significant personality changes, including hallucinations, delusions, suspiciousness, paranoia, and/or compulsive, repetitive behaviors.
- Awareness of recent experiences, events, and surroundings is lost.
- Personal history is recalled imperfectly.
- May forget names of family and friends but can often distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar faces.
- May need help washing, dressing, and using the bathroom.
- Disruption of sleep cycle.
- Increasing episodes of incontinence.
In this stage, the person may wander and become lost. People in stage five need extensive help with daily activities — your doctor may suggest that the person not be left alone.
I think this is the stage my grandmother is approaching — if she isn’t there yet. The personality changes and sleep problems have been going on for a long time. Most upsetting is that for a few minutes the other day, she didn’t recognize my mother (her daughter).
Stage 7 is the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease, known as “severe” or “late stage”. This is the most severe cognitive decline, and symptoms can include:
- Inability to speak, though they may occasionally say recognizable words or phrases.
- Inability to walk without assistance, sit without support, smile, and hold head upright.
- Abnormal reflexes.
- Muscular rigidity.
- Impaired swallowing.
In this stage, a person will need help with eating, washing, and using the bathroom. People in stage 7 will lose the ability to respond to their environment and ultimately will not be able to speak or control movement.