Dementia is not a disease, it is a word used for different chronic illnesses. It is a term that is used when people of a certain age start to suffer from memory loss and face mental challenges. Follow this article to explore more about what stage of dementia you are in when you sleep most of the day and what are the last stages of dementia before death.
When a person, mostly an elderly person, starts to forget about things from their daily routine and have memory loss then, they are most likely to be suffering from dementia. Dementia is a state where a person gets confused and has no idea about themselves. They will forget the most basic things. There are different stages of dementia like the early stage, middle stage, and last stage. All of these stages are further divided into more stages.
There are stages of dementia in which a person completely forgets about everything around them. They live a confused life, they will have no idea about what is going on around them. Most of the time when people are in the last stages of dementia, they sleep throughout their day. According to a survey research, the majority of the people at the age of 65 are suffering from dementia. We know that dementia is not a disease, there are diseases that come under the name of dementia.
Follow this article to explore more about what stage of dementia you are in when you sleep most of the day and what are the last stages of dementia before death.
Table of Contents
What are the different stages of dementia?
Just like every other disease, dementia has three main stages, the early stage, middle stage, and the last stage. These stages have seven different stages that a person has to go through when they are suffering from dementia. Following are the different stages of dementia.
- No cognitive impairment
- Very mild cognitive decline
- Mild cognitive decline
- Moderate cognitive decline
- Moderately severe cognitive decline
- Severe cognitive decline
- Very severe cognitive decline
No cognitive impairment:
At this stage there are no visible changes in a person, the things they forget looks absolutely normal. There is not a major change in a person’s life but if you perform a brain scan, you will notice that your brain is starting to change because of dementia. Although everything looks normal from the inside, dementia has started its work on your brain.
Very mild cognitive decline:
In this stage, a person will start to forget little things like their keys, switching off the lights, or turning the gas off. These little things will come in between your daily routine. You would forget about completing your work. At this stage it is mildly visible to everyone around you that there is something wrong. Most people ignore it thinking that maybe it is just stress and everything will be fine.
Mild cognitive decline:
This stage is noticeable, you will forget about things no matter how many times someone repeats it for you. You will forget even the most important dates, your work, and you will have a hard time at work. Your concentration level will deteriorate and you will not be able to focus on your work. No matter how hard you try, you will miss one thing or the other. This will make you feel irritated and stressed.
Moderate cognitive decline:
At this stage, your entire personality will suddenly change. You will become less responsive and you will start to isolate yourself. According to healthcare professionals, people in this stage of dementia are on their way to get worse. At this stage, a person will be in denial, he/she will deny anything that you say about their condition because according to them, everything is fine with them. This is one of the reasons why the patient at this stage will isolate themselves thinking that no one understands them.
Moderately severe cognitive decline:
According to healthcare professionals, this stage is known as the middle stage of dementia and there is a possibility that it will last for at least two years. At this stage, dementia is getting much worse. The patient will not be able to remember the basic things like their names, their children’s names, their address, and where they went to school. There is a possibility that the patient might start to wander around and get lost as they do not know anything about themselves.
Severe cognitive decline:
At this stage of dementia, the patient will not be able to do anything on their own. Eating, going to the toilet, and bathing everything has to be done with the help of a nurse. The patient will not be able to function on their own. The patient needs to have a full time caretaker with them. This stage will also come with anxiety, sleep problems, aggression, fatigue, and stress.
Very severe cognitive decline:
This is the last stage of dementia, in this stage the patient will not be able to do anything by themselves. There will be no verbal communication and the patient will also face difficulty in doing tasks like chewing their food, swallowing, and breathing. The patient will completely let themselves go and their bodily functions will be impaired.
What stage of dementia are you in when you sleep most of the day?
It is extremely normal for a patient who is suffering from dementia to sleep most of the time. Following are the things that can help you know more about the stage of dementia in which a person sleeps most of the day.
- The patient is most likely to sleep most of the time because of them being stressed and anxious about their memory loss.
- Sleeping will be a way for them to get away from everything that is happening with them.
- The stage of dementia in which a person sleeps most of the time is also known as vascular dementia which comes later in the disease.
- It comes after the middle stage when a person is not able to function properly on their own and they forget about each and everything.
- There is a possibility that because of the stress and from the treatment of dementia a person sleeps more than usual.
- As the dementia gets worse, the patient’s brain will become weaker and it will not be able to function properly.
- When the patient of dementia spends most of their day sleeping then, this means that their dementia is getting worse and even the treatment is not working for them.
- It is always best to consult a healthcare professional when sleeping becomes more frequent. The doctor will be able to help you gain more information about the sleeping problems and its treatment.
- According to healthcare professionals, people who sleep a lot during this stage are mainly because in the last stage of dementia a person does not know what is happening around them. So, they do not know if it is day or night.
- In the last stages of dementia, the patient will completely let themselves go and sleep as it is their way to deal with everything.
- There is a possibility that there is no quality of sleep and it keeps on getting worse as the patient reaches the last stages of dementia.
- The patient’s entire routine will get worse, they will be confused and they will have no memory of them sleeping. They might think that they have not slept at all, this can make them sleep some more.
What are the last stages of dementia before death?
It is extremely difficult for the patient and for the family to survive through the last stages of dementia. The family has to suffer the pain of daily seeing their loved ones dying slowly. Following are the things you should take as a sign that your loved one is reaching their end with dementia.
- Not being able to move
- No communication
- Urinary infection
- Breathing difficulties
- Behavioral changes
Not being able to move:
When a person is nearing the end stage of dementia then, they will not be able to move at all. They will not be able to walk without support, going to the toilet, eating, bathing, and basically anything that they used to do like a normal person, they will not be able to do it anymore. This is a major sign that the person is near their death because of dementia. It will be impossible for them to survive a few hours without a caretaker.
A person who is at the last stage of dementia will not be able to communicate at all. They will not be able to have a verbal communication with their family and their complete memory loss will make it difficult for them to remember what they wanted to say in the first place. They will have difficulty in communicating their thoughts even with their facial expressions.
Anyone who is at the last stage of dementia will become extremely weak and malnourished. It is because they will lose their ability to eat, chew, and swallow their food. At this stage, most people have to consume a liquid diet to survive. This will make them weak and they will also get dehydrated.
A person who is at the last stage of dementia will always have a urinary infection or there will be blood clots forming inside their urinary tract. This is because of weakness and malnourishment. At this stage, a person will also have bed sores. Although it is pretty common in people who are at the last stage of dementia.
At this stage of dementia, the patient will have trouble breathing properly. One person has to be there with the patient at all times so they can help the patient get back to normal. This is one of the major signs that a person is at the last stage of dementia before death. This is a clear sign that the patient’s health is getting worse day by day. It is best to shift the patient to the hospital so they can be under supervision all the time.
In the last stage of dementia, you can see visible changes in the behavior of the patient. They will get restless, aggressive, forgetful, anxious, and stressed. They will have no control over their emotions like one minute they will be feeling restless and the next moment they will become aggressive. People believe that this happens because of their inability to remember anything.
How to take care of people at the last stage of dementia?
If you have a loved one that is suffering from dementia and is at the last stages of dementia then, following are some ways through which you can take care of people at the last stage of dementia.
- Physical touch
- Make them comfortable
- Monitor their weight
- Keep them hydrated
- Set a toilet schedule
- Keep them clean
- Protect them from flu
- Pay attention to signs
It is important that you make physical contact with them as they are forgetting about each and everyone around them. It is important that you make them feel your touch, hold their hands when you are with them and make them remember you. Physical touch from the people you love can help a person a lot.
Make them comfortable:
It is supreme that you offer comfort to the patient at the end of dementia. Make sure that their bedding is comfortable, their clothes are breathable, and their room temperature is ideal. Hire a caretaker to be with them all the time. Someone who can help them carry on with their basic routine comfortably.
Monitor their weight:
There is a possibility that the patient will gradually lose weight as their diet becomes more liquid. At the last stage of dementia the patient will not be able to chew and swallow their food properly, which is why their entire meal will be in a liquid form. This will make them lose weight, so you need to monitor their weight and give them a diet according to their weight. You can also consult a doctor when the weight becomes extremely low.
Keep them hydrated:
Water is essential for all of us, but for someone who forgets if they even had water in the first place or not. Do not take any risk. Give them water after every one or two hours, this way their body will stay hydrated.
Set a toilet schedule:
It is supreme that you set a toilet schedule for them, this way after some time their body will also become habitual to it. A patient with dementia can easily forget whether or not they used the toilet or not. Setting a schedule can help them and you as well. You would know about their natural routine and keep a track if something does not go down smoothly.
Keep them clean:
Hygiene is extremely important. Help in giving them a warm bath or shower. This way no bacteria will attack them and when they are clean, they will feel good and healthy. It will make them feel at peace.
Protect them from flu:
It is essential that you take care of them properly and protect them from flu because their body and immune system is already weak. When they are under the influence of flu then, their body will become more weak which is not a good thing for them. Their immune system will not be able to handle it and their situation will get worse.
Pay attention to signs:
You have to pay close attention to any nonverbal sign that they give. Communicating verbally is not possible for them so you have to be careful of any expression and other nonverbal signs that they are giving you. This is their way of sharing their thoughts and feelings with you.
Dementia is a disease which can make a person forget about each and everything in their life. From their family and friends to their work. At the early stage of dementia, the patient may appear normal but as the dementia gets worse, the signs become more prominent. The patient will have no idea about their surroundings, they will not remember the names of their family members.
At the last stage of dementia the patient will not be able to move without support and they will spend most of their time sleeping. Their memory loss will make them stressed and more anxious, so sleeping will be a way for them to deal with everything that is happening around them. It is supreme that you take extra care of the person who is at the last stage of dementia, make them feel comfortable, keep them hydrated, and pay attention to anything that they are trying to convey. Set a routine for them so this way they will not sleep most of the time.