chart documenting when the person successfully goes to the bathroom as well as
when and how much the person eats and drinks. Tailor the toileting schedule to
the individual’s unique toileting routine.
Addressing Immobility in Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
In late-stage Alzheimer’s disease, becoming chair-bound or bed-bound poses
serious risks to the person’s body, skin, and overall health. For example, joints may
“freeze,” pressure sores may develop, and the skin may break down or become more
vulnerable to tears and bruises. Try the following methods to address immobility in late-
stage Alzheimer’s disease:
Apply range-of-motion exercises. When a person is confined to a bed or chair for long periods, limb contractures can occur, which are also called “frozen” joints. To reduce a person’s risk of contractures, have a physical therapist or other staff member trained in range-of-motion exercises perform a sequence of arm and leg movements with the individual two or three times a day. It is best to perform range-of-motion exercises when a person’s muscles are warm, such as directly after bathing.
Keep skin dry and clean. In late-stage Alzheimer’s, the skin becomes more fragile and susceptible to bruises and tears. Check the person daily for evidence of sores, rashes, or other problems. When bathing the person or providing other help with hygiene, wipe the skin gently and avoid any harsh friction with washcloths or other abrasive materials. Be sure to dry the skin completely after washing.