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Sorry you had to ask those questions.
Folks in early stage 7 can often still talk and walk. From the symptoms you describe, she sounds like she's in stage 7. At this point, I would also contact a hospice near you, as they can be a help if she is accepted (even if she's in a facility), and the cost is covered by Medicare. Hospice, with their experience, can also help with planning.
That said, "planning" in stage seven is often futile, since it can be very quick or last many many years. My wife has been in stage 7 (and in hospice at home) for about a month shy of three years now (currently stage 7d). She can no longer stand or walk, talk, feed herself, or sit up straight. I am lucky that I'm big enought to pick her up, so I don't need to place her at this point. Dr. Barry Reisberg of NYU, who originally developed the 7-stage model of Alzheimer's, noted that stage 7f, the final stage, can last "indefinitely."
I understand what you are trying to figure out. It's so scary not knowing what to expect, how long things will go on, etc. I've done a lot of reading about it over the last 5 years. I'll just share what I have come across. (Was your mother diagnosed with AD or some other condition?)
There are good points on this thread about how uncertain things are. It really does depend on the person and their health and age. There seems to be no real formula, even though we do have the guidelines called Stages. I have known that because my LO has VD and not AD, the stages weren't designed for her, but, I will say that once she got very severe, she does now fit with Stage 7 (D). She occasionally has a quick smile, but, I'm not really sure that it's voluntary. If not, she's 7(E) she can hold her head up, but, that's all she can do now, except occasional one word, yes. She has been on Hospice for about 6 months and is 67 years old.
I have been told that the next thing will be if she losing the ability to swallow. That will be a big warning of the end. Also, if she gets sick with pneumonia. That may not be something she survives. But, short of those things, I don't see her passing away. I have read multiple places that the expected survival for VD is 5 years. I have known multiple PWD who were diagnosed AFTER my LO and they have declined, gone into long term care and died! Plus, my LO has hypertension and Type II diabetes! It's all so unpredictable.
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