Sudden, dramatic decline

  All Alzheimer's Symptoms

When it happens

Severe-stage dementia

Why it happens

As the disease progresses to the point of the person losing all insight and awareness, there's no more ability to compensate for problems through covering up, accusing others, taking more time, behaving apathetically, and other means. Unlike the gradual declines seen throughout the disease, there seems to be a sudden change for the worse. The person is less responsive and initiates almost no contact.

What you can do

  • Bear in mind that despite these dramatic alterations, it's the same person inside. Continue to show love, respect, and a consideration for comfort and safety.

  • Rely on touch, smell, and soothing sounds to communicate reassurance.

  • Know that you've entered the final disease stage and begin to make end-of-life plans (including exploring hospice and funeral planning), if you haven't already.