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  • Total incontinence of bowel and bladder, requiring full-time assistance with toileting and hygiene

  • Eventual inability to sit up or hold up one’s head

  • Loss of facial expressions, including the ability to smile Individuals with Alzheimer's disease often die of a medical complication such as

pneumonia or the flu. However, although not often recognized as such, Alzheimer's is

fatal – if there are no other complications, the person will die when all bodily systems fail

because of the disease.

Enhancing Nutrition in Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

While everyone requires adequate nutrients and hydration in order to maintain

health, those with late-stage Alzheimer’s disease are at particularly high risk for

malnutrition because of problems with eating and swallowing. Additionally, swallowing

difficulties can cause an individual to breathe liquids or food particles into the airway and

lungs. This puts the person at an increased risk for developing pneumonia. The following

strategies can help those with late-stage Alzheimer’s eat and drink in a safe manner:

  • Create a calm, quiet eating environment. While it might be tempting to turn on the television while assisting patients with feeding, noise from the television, radio, or other sources can be distracting for the person with late-state Alzheimer’s. Have the person eat in a calm, quiet place, using a simple table setting if the person can still use utensils.

  • Make sure the individual is comfortably seated. The person should be seated upright while eating and should remain upright for at least a half hour after eating in order to aid digestion.

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