Final stage?!

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Hello!
My dad, 73, was diagnosed about 2 years ago with mixed dementia. His state has rapidly worsened and after several CTs, the brain damage he had suffered was established on the left side of his brain entirely. Back in 2003 he had a stroke, but recovered quite well in the years that followed.
Anyways, 2 weeks ago, his doctor pronounced those words:"stage 4"(final, she said). He still walks unsupported, eats unassisted(loss of appetite - noticeable), uses the toilet (sometimes I clean urine from the floor, as he doesn't succeed in projecting it all inside the toilet), recognizes us, his environment, he is docile, following our indications properly, taking his meds and all.
Worrying signs I can spot : he sleeps a lot (from around 7 p.m. till 8-9 a.m. next day), he sometimes has a slurred speech or simply does not articulate any words, he feels dizzy pretty often, he would sit in a chair for hours, staring bluntly to a wall, deep confusion is obvious, loss of long-term and short-term memory (doesn't know his age, my age, his childhood memories etc.), he has better days and worse days, he stuffs his mouth with food and eats like a toddler, swallowing with difficulty (he has no teeth), he is anchored in some pattern phrases and gestures and he also has nervous feet syndrome, moving his legs all the time while sitting.
I am interested in opinions from you, from your experience or similar situations.
Do you consider this fits stage 4?

Thank you for your time!
Amy
From what I've read there are 7 stages. If you Google 7 stages of dementia it may help. Everyone is individual even with the dreaded dementia. My husband is supposedly at stage 4. Others at the nursing home are at later stages and are still going.
Hello again! Yes, I have googled and read about the 7 stages. There are also sites that speak about 4 stages.

I guess I am confused...I also know that a stroke can be fatal at any time. I am aware of the fact that doctors do their best, but cannot offer confirmation of any sort and they base their diagnosis on books and what science says. I know every case is different from the next. I also know confirmation of any sort is not to be provided by anyone and any site. i believe this is my way of coping with things, by discussing with you, kind people and by googling things...a false sense of having control over this mess.
Thanks again! :)
When my mum, the last of our four parents, was obviously on the "slippery slope" going gradually down and down, bit by bit, I knew that there were some things I could, and should plan for. The GP gave her a year, maximum. I decided which funeral director to use, and talked to them in advance (the same company I used for my husband). This was especially important as I would be overseas for 2 weeks, the GP ordered me to go whatever happened, as I had my own health issues.
The family talked about mum's favourite songs she would like, the type of funeral, given the fact that we were a mixed race family, some Christian, some Muslim, etc. That wasn't to say mum would be gone within days, in fact it was a few months, but we prepared for the inevitable.
Then I made mum's remaining months as good as I could, bearing in mind she was in a nursing home, about a mile away. I had Power of Attorney, whatever she wanted, flowers to brighten her room, new nighties, new tops, anything, I made sure she had. Most of all, I tried to call in most days, for an hour or so (longer visits were difficult as her hearing was going and I had to shout). For the first time in her life, the nursing home gave her a hand massage and nail polish, which she loved (although they didn't look like my mum's hands, with oyster coloured polish!).
So "plan for the worst, hope for the best, and make every day count" would be my suggestion.
It is an emotional roller coaster, don't be ashamed of crying, it's so important to let those feelings out, to help you face what is to come. Make sure you get out and go for a walk every day, find pleasure in nature, things which give you peace and serenity are really important.
Well said! All your stories help a lot!
I believe with Alzheimers there is a precise 'progression' that the disease takes, closing down the brain in a specific sequence, so I understand from the Alzheimer's website. So the neurologic deficit proceeds in a a particular way, in every patient.

However, vascular dementia is a lot more 'random' in which parts of the brain are affected as the disease progresses. So each person with VD can deterioriate in a way different from others, hence the variety of behaviours we see in patients (and of course, it may also depend on what kind of pre-dementia person they were!)

Not all of them will show all behaviours....for example, luckily, my mother in law never showed aggression, or confabulation (where they make up 'stories' that are bizarre and unreal).

In terms of final stages, though, I think that it's very commonplace, alas for the following to happen at some point:

- incontinence. A general forgetting how to go to the toilet, not recognising the 'urge' to go, and then inevitably they end up with 'nappies'.....

- aphasia. They forget how to speak, and become non-verbal

- immobility. They forget how to move. How to walk and so on.

My MIL has now reached those three stages. She shows very little 'responsiveness' to me when I arrive to visit her in her home, her eyes flicker a bit as if I am 'someone' but that soon fades, and she tries to speak, but can't. She pays very little attention to my presence, and her face is very slack, her eyes 'unseeing'.......

I know from my sister in law's mother some years ago, who had vascular dementia, that eventually she wasn't able to get up at all, and just lay inertly in bed. Eventually she had to be taken to hospital, just 'staring' at nothing. A few days later she simply died.....it was very 'gentle' if you see what I mean. There was no agitation, she simply faded to nothing....
Thank you, Jenny Lucas, for this insight! It is never easy for either the carer or the patient...I would be thankful if my dad should simply slip away, being unconscious of his end, so I understand "gentle". I believe their lack of awareness is there with a purpose, to spare them of all the tragedy.
I believe their lack of awareness is there with a purpose, to spare them of all the tragedy.
Hang on to that thought, Amy. It will help you through the end stages.

Melly1