My Grandad has Alzheimer's.

kingsley2018

New member
Mar 1, 2018
1
I was wondering if anyone could offer some advice...

My Granddad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in December 2010. His health has declined since Christmas 2017 and now we are being told he doesn't have long left. He's not eating or drinking anything really, the GP gave my Grandad 3 weeks ago, some high caloried drinks but he refuses those and we offer him food but he refuses. He is sleeping all the time for long periods, I can visit for a few hours and he won't wake up the entire time I'm there. The GP visited him yesterday and he's dehydrated but no matter how much we offer him water or food, he just doesn't want it.

The GP has written referrals to two local Hospice's and we are waiting to hear from either of them. I read online that usually it's within 3 working days so hopefully we will hear sooner rather than later. I have been reading some posts on here and a lot of people are saying about seizures - is this normal for people with Alzheimers? Is that what happens towards the end?
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
60,504
Dundee
Hi @kingsley2018 and welcome to Talking Point.

I'm sorry to hear about your grandad. This is such a hard time for you all.

I can only speak from my own experience of when my husband was in his last days. He was in hospital and was suffering from aspiration pneumonia. He didn't have any seizures at all. It was actually quite peaceful (distressing for me, but peaceful) and he passed away after a week.

I know everyone's experience will be different. I wish you and your family strength and I wish peace for your grandad.
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,839
London
My John never had seizures either.

Don't bother offering him food if he doesn't want it. His body seems to be shutting down and won't need it nor be able to cope with it. There are three things that's typical of palliative care: morphine for pain relief, injections to dry up secretions to make breathing easier and pink spongy "lollipops" to wet his lips with. But food and drink - no longer important. Just spend time with him, chat to him, hold his hand, play his favourite music.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,342
South coast
Hello @kingsley2018 and welcome to Talking Point, though Im sorry it has come at such a sad time.

There are lots os symptoms that can come at the end and seizures is definitely one of them, but not always. Mum passed away last year from Alzheimers, but did not have seizures at all.

When you are looking at the end the body starts closing down and it can take a couple or more weeks for this to happen. As the body starts closing down they refuse food and drink, because their body can no longer process it. This is often really distressing for the relatives who are deperately trying to get them to eat or drink something in an effort to keep them alive.

But:- they are not dying because they arnt eating and drinking - they are not eating and drinking because they are already dying.

It is part of the natural path. Yes, they become dehydrated, but this does not cause distress and, in fact, forcing them to eat and drink at this stage can actually cause pain, because the body cant deal with it. Food and water should be offered, but dont force it if he wont take it. Sleeping for long periods of time is also part of the natural path. You may find that his arms and legs feel very cold too. Right at the end his breathing will change and there may be long gaps between some breaths. He will also be given painkillers in either a patch, or a syringe driver, so that he gets a constant supply. This will make sure that his passing will be pain free.

Dont be frightened by all this. You can sit with him, talk or read to him (hearing is the last sense to go), moisten his mouth with a little sponge or brush and play his favourite music. My mum passed away in her care home rather than a hospice, so I dont know how quickly you will get a reply, but Im sure they will be supportive.
xx
 

Manchester1963

Registered User
Apr 7, 2015
6
Hello everyone
In same situation - reassuring to read all your posts. When one thinks of the hundreds of people going through this same journey, it does help to reassure that this is a normal process of closing down gradually. Though my mums body is closing down and motivation to
Live has faded away , she is more lucid and aware of what’s happening than she has been for a good while. Bless all of you and all of us
 

Manchester1963

Registered User
Apr 7, 2015
6
And only a couple of weeks ago I was posting about the whole care home process - the discharge from hospital - but now she may not get there. Here decline has been so very rapid.