Hospice and Alzheimer’s

The late stages of Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging for patients and their loved ones. Oftentimes caregivers face serious health issues that have resulted from the amount of care required to care for a family member with Alzheimer’s. As sleep patterns change, dementia increases and other common behaviors such as wandering and increased paranoia surface, caregivers find themselves physically and emotional exhausted.

While it’s important for caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable, it’s also imperative for caregivers to exercise self-care. That’s where hospice care can be an option. A knowledgeable, experienced hospice care provider can make the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease more comfortable and less confusing for patients and families.

Read on for more information on hospice and Alzheimer’s.

What Are Some Benefits of Hospice Care for Alzheimer’s Patients?

The benefits of hospice care at home are numerous, particularly for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Medical Care With Hospice

At its core, hospice care provides patients and families with a high degree of comfort, pain relief, symptom control, and emotional respite during a patient’s final stages of life. Hospice care providers can offer a variety of services including education on disease progression, administration of medications, personal care, and spiritual care. Additionally, hospice care providers can assist with medical equipment your loved one might require, such as oxygen, catheters, and a hospital bed.

Emotional Care

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you know that caregiver burnout and depression are very real risks. It’s extremely challenging to see your loved one gradually progress through the stages of Alzheimer’s. In the case of hospice and Alzheimer’s, hospice care can greatly enhance quality of life for not only the patient but also the family members. In fact, according to the National Institute on Aging, hospice care has been proven to help families struggling with the emotional and spiritual challenges that come with caring for a loved one with dementia.

When Should I Consider Hospice Care?

Consult a Doctor

Some families don’t realize that hospice care is a viable option for Alzheimer’s patients. That’s especially true if their loved one has already been placed in a memory care facility. For that reason, many individuals with Alzheimer’s go without the benefits of hospice care. However, hospice care can be very beneficial to Alzheimer’s patients, providing them with stability and comfort. Hospice care is designed to assist patients who are within the last six months of their life. Your doctor can discuss with you the progression of your loved one’s disease and what you may experience in the upcoming months.

Monitor Disease Progression

You can also watch for signs that your loved one’s disease has progressed to its final stages. For example, when a patient has reached the final stage of Alzheimer’s, the patient may only speak a few words. They typically cannot walk, smile, or sit up. Most patients who have reached the final stage of Alzheimer’s are good candidates for hospice care.

Complications resulting from Alzheimer’s can also mean that your loved one is a good candidate for hospice care. For example, if your loved one has had two or more episodes of pneumonia or other serious infections in the last six months, he or she might be a good candidate.

Identifying a hospice care provider for your loved one can be overwhelming. At Phoenix Home Care & Hospice, we strive to promote positivity, improve our patients’ quality of life, and meet the challenges that life brings with compassion, grace, empathy, and respect. We are committed to excellence and innovation, and we take great pleasure in helping our clients find the services that they need to thrive. To learn more about our Private Duty Care services, contact us today.

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