Now that’s a cryptic title for a blog post, isn’t it?
When you move into later stages in dementia, there are some additional challenges to deal with.
- Apathy (A) like you have never felt apathy before.
- Anxiety Avoidance (A+A) where the primary experience is often trying to stay away from events, people, and situations that cause you anxiety, to a large part because the experience of anxiety gets harder and harder to cope with.
- The Bursting Bubble (B+B) phenomenon wherein strategies you have used successfully in earlier stages of dementia to maintain quality of life no longer work so well.
- Confusion (C) as a daily part of everything you do increases 10-fold.
- Communication (C) becomes less automatic, more idiosyncratic to you, much harder because words disappear on the way in and on the way out, slower, ambiguous, more frustrating to you and those you are communicating with, and possibly without any memory of things you said 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, or last Thanksgiving.
Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me unless you take active (and hard) steps to maintain quality of life under different conditions you have encountered before.
The following mind map shows the problems involved with moving into later stages of dementia and some solutions that might work for you. Skills and techniques you learned at early and middle stages of dementia will be helpful but not sufficient to fully deal with the continuing challenges of maintaining quality of life.
Can it be done? Yes. Is it easy without a plan? No. Does a plan help? Yes.
Here are some explanations of what might be happening to you (or an individual under your care) as dementia progresses. Click on the image to expand it.
A few solutions for each problem are also suggested. Note that these are general suggestions and NOT medical or psychological advice. For more help, see your healthcare provider(s).