caregiver comforting senior woman

Clarity in the end stage of dementia is a common occurrence.

Even when confusion and memory loss escalate throughout the progression of Alzheimer’s, there is a fascinating and pleasant reprieve that often occurs. Formerly coined “terminal lucidity,” it’s more frequently known as “paradoxical lucidity.” It represents an unexpected, short-term return of clarity to an almost pre-dementia state of mind in the end stage of dementia. During this time, the effects can consist of nonverbal but emotional connections to substantial cognitive recovery.

For friends and family, it’s a special gift to be cherished. It gives the opportunity for meaningful reminiscing and conversations, along with the mutual sharing of thoughts and feelings, if only for a brief period of time. For researchers, it means a lot more.

Dr. Basil Eldadah, supervisory medical officer at the Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology at the US National Institute on Aging, views the opportunities as remarkable. “It gives us some pause with regard to our current theories and understanding about the nature of dementia. We’ve seen enough examples of this to be reassured that dementia can be reversed – albeit temporarily, very transiently – nevertheless, it does reverse. And so the question then is how.”

Currently, there are six scientific studies underway to answer that very question, and to gain more detailed insight to the condition and explore future therapeutic approaches. As documented in preliminary data from the studies, it’s clear that it is a far more frequent phenomenon than realized previously. Dr. Sam Parnia, lead researcher and critical care doctor, pulmonologist, and associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center shares, “If you talk to hospice nurses and palliative care doctors, they all know about this. But no one’s ever studied it properly because no one ever thought anyone would take it seriously enough. So what I wanted to do is to help move this into the scientific realm.”

Education for families caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s is also essential. It is important to know that this short-lived clarity may happen, allowing for the opportunity to reconnect with the senior, while understanding that it’s not at all indicative of improvement in his or her condition.

For more Alzheimer’s care resources and educational materials, connect with Atlanta Home Care Partners, the top providers of Atlanta dementia help. We are also always available to provide specialized in-home dementia care to help make life the very best it can be for people with Alzheimer’s and the families who love them, through services including:

  • Memory-stimulating games, activities, conversations, and reminiscing
  • Specialized, compassionate assistance with the distinctive challenges of dementia, such as aggression, wandering, sundowning, and so much more
  • Help with safe bathing along with other personal care needs
  • Household chores and meals to enable family members to relish more high quality time with the older adult they love
  • And so much more

Call us at (404) 228-0103 to discover the best possible quality of life for someone you love with dementia. Visit our Service Area page to see all of the locations where our dementia care services are available.