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  • Reposition every two hours. Changing an individual’s position every two hours can relieve pressure on certain areas of the body and reduce the incidence of pressure sores. When repositioning, always ensure that the person is comfortable and in proper alignment. Pillows can be used to support the person’s head, arms, and legs, as well as to protect bony areas such as knees and elbows. Make sure that staff members are trained in proper lifting and turning procedures.

Reducing the Risk for Illness in Late-Stage Alzheimer’s

In addition to skin and joint problems, immobility in late-stage Alzheimer’s

weakens the immune system, making one more vulnerable to illness. To reduce the risk

for infections and other illnesses in late-stage Alzheimer’s, take the following

precautions:

  • Provide immediate treatment to cuts and scrapes. Basic first aid can go a long way toward preventing infections in those with late-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Practice consistent oral hygiene. Those with optimal oral health have a reduced risk of developing bacteria in the mouth that can cause infection. Regular tooth brushing or denture cleaning is paramount. It also helps to clean the soft tissues of the mouth using moistened gauze pads or a soft toothbrush in order to prevent inflammation of the gums (i.e., gingivitis).

  • Vaccinate when appropriate. Unless there are contraindications due to allergies, be sure that all staff members and patients have flu shots every year. A vaccine for pneumonia is also available and should be administered every five years.

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