What Are The Signs That Dementia Is Getting Worse?

Caregiver reading to dementia patient

Knowing when someone with dementia is in the decline stage is hard. However, when dementia symptoms worsen and the person’s health fails, it may suggest the onset of the dying process. 

How long does someone with dementia expect to live?

Although dementia is a progressive and severe illness, it is very hard to determine how long a dementia patient will live. There are a lot of factors to consider. 

However, if the patient has a co-existing medical condition (like chronic liver disease or organ failure), it may be easier to tell how much time they have left and the manner of their death. 

When this happens, the person can pass away from another illness at the progression of dementia. This means they may reach the end of their life before the dementia symptoms worsen.

Dementia patient sitting and looking out the window

What are the signs that dementia is getting worse?

Here are some signs that a person’s dementia is worsening over time. You will notice that they:

  • become more thin and weak.
  • have more illnesses or slips and falls
  • have difficulties eating, chewing, and drinking
  • need urgent medical attention most of the time.
  • experience reduced mobility
  • sleep often
  • communicate less often.

A person with a worsening case of dementia is susceptible to having an impaired immune system. This implies that they are more likely to get infections and become sick easily. Sometimes, these illnesses can be chronic. In fact, getting infected by pneumonia is the leading cause of death for dementia patients.

Even if someone with a worsening case of dementia exhibits symptoms that show that they are on the verge of dying, they may still be able to endure these symptoms for a long time. This complex situation makes it extremely hard to prepare and set up arrangements for someone’s passing.

What are the signs that someone with dementia is close to dying?

Understanding the signs that someone with dementia is close to death will assist you in offering them the proper care. But it is usually hard to pinpoint the exact time. 

This uncertainty can have a negative impact on the mood and perception of the person as well as the way loved ones, friends and caregivers feel. 

Some signs of advanced dementia indicate that the patient has progressed to the last stage of the illness. These may include: 

  • Inability to properly communicate, except for the utterance of a single phrase or word, which may be hard for others to understand. 
  • Requires assistance with most day-to-day activities. 
  • Feeding and swallowing issues. 
  • Bowel and urinary incontinence.
  • Having trouble sitting up, difficulty walking or standing, and becoming bed-bound.
  • Someone with dementia that exhibits some or all of these signs is likely approaching the final stage of their life. They might struggle with health challenges like tiredness, chronic infection and bed sores (pressure ulcers)

Signs of impending death

As a person’s health further deteriorates and they are just hours or days from passing away. You will see some changes. They include:

  • Rapid worsening of the health condition
  • A decline in consciousness or awareness
  • Inability to swallow
  • Severe restlessness or anxiety
  • Erratic breathing rate 
  • Having a crackling or rattling breathing sound.
  • Frigid feet and hands.

Changes of this nature are signs of dying, and usually, the person is unconscious of what is taking place.

Home-based Dementia care

Dementia care is supportive care that caters to all the basic needs — emotional, social and physical — of a patient with dementia in their residence or home. 

Most dementia care services (like Vivid Care‘s) are delivered by a professional team of healthcare specialists, caregivers, nurses and others (who are needed as the illness progresses). The care offered by the team is similar to the end-of-life care provided by medical institutions, clinics and nursing facilities.

Benefits of home care for those with advanced dementia

  • Independence. 
  • Lowering the unpleasant symptoms of the condition, such as discomfort & anxiety, etc. 
  • The aim is not to accelerate or delay death. Instead, it offers moral, social and emotional wellness to the patient.
  • Make long-term plans
  • Make preparations for impending death. Honours life and accepts dying as a natural phase of life. 
  • Improve a person’s quality of life and positively impact the illness’s progression. 
  • Ensure confidentiality and privacy when care services are delivered to clients at their residences. 
  • Clients feel more relaxed and at ease in their homes rather than in a nursing facility or hospital.
  • It offers instruction and assistance to family members so they can become better caregivers.

Contact Us Today

Caring for dementia patients at home has numerous benefits, including enjoying a healthier and more productive life. Our dementia care service is rooted in enriching lives – this is our goal and what we have achieved for our clients for years. 

If you need quality dementia care in the familiarity, convenience and safety of your home, get in touch with us today.