Improving The Quality Of Life Of Alzheimer’s Disease Patients Through Palliative Care
Palliative Care: The Most Promising Care For Patients With Alzheimer
Alzheimer’s Disease is a debilitating and ultimately fatal illness in which brain cells progressively degenerate and die. Initially, the person suffering from Alzheimer’s may struggle with memory loss and confusion. Patients may also struggle to understand their surroundings, be unable to recognize people who are familiar to them, and have difficulty finding the right words or performing basic tasks. Getting lost, asking repetitive questions, anxiety, and behavior changes are also common symptoms of the disease. As the disease progresses, increased difficulty with judgment, cognitive skills, and reasoning lead to severe disability and a need for constant care. Although the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease is age, people who are under sixty years old can also develop the disease.
Facing Alzheimer’s Disease is very stressful for both the patient and family members. There is no cure, and both the patient and their family need increased care and support as the neurological degeneration worsens over time. Mesa hospice and palliative care is one of the many types of care that will be needed by Alzheimer’s patients.
What Is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people who are facing serious chronic illness. The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life for both the patient and their family. Although frequently associated with terminal illness, palliative care can be useful for patients of any age and at any stage of illness. Unlike hospice, palliative care can be combined with a curative approach to treatment.
Palliative care is provided by a trained team of doctors, nurses, social workers, and other specialists, such as massage therapists and psychologists, who work together with medical doctors to provide an extra layer of support for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.
How Does Palliative Care Benefit Alzheimer’s Patients?
Involving a palliative care team can be useful in many ways. Although it cannot cure or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s, it can help treat some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease so that life becomes less difficult and more comfortable. Symptoms that can be helped with Queen Creek hospice and palliative care include depression, anxiety, and sleep difficulties. Your palliative care team can help patients and their families determine what might be triggering behavior symptoms and how to avoid them, bringing a sense of ease to each day.
Palliative Care Techniques
A very common and effective palliative care technique is assisting families in developing and maintaining a routine. This is a crucial part of daily care for Alzheimer’s patients. Your palliative care specialists may help patients develop physical exercise routines appropriate for their physical ability, memory therapy, and other types of therapies to aid with depression, anxiety, and other emotions. Promoting a calm and quiet environment along with habits that support good sleep are also within the scope of palliative care.
When Alzheimer’s patients have additional medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, or chronic pain, palliative care can ease the symptoms and reduce the stress that these conditions may be contributing to the patient’s life.
When To Establish Palliative Care
Palliative care from Mesa hospice can begin anytime after an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis, but it’s ideal when palliative care can become part of your support team from the very beginning. This gives your care team time to work together to build a relationship with other medical doctors, the patient, their family, and their caregivers. Your palliative care team will want to focus on conversations about your goals, your concerns, and your treatment options. Understanding what is important to you as the patient and how you want to be cared for, including what level of care you want in the future, will help your palliative team meet your needs as effectively as possible.
As Alzheimer’s Disease progresses, palliative care can help families and caregivers as they plan to care for you at home, and help determine if or when a transfer to an assisted living facility or a nursing home becomes the best option. The safety and quality of life of the Alzheimer’s patient is always at the center of palliative care. Your palliative care team can guide your family and help them cope with these concerns or decisions about feeding difficulties, infections, hospitalization, and other complications that may happen in the future.
Palliative care is available for patients in Tempe inpatient hospice, at the hospital, and at home. Although Alzheimer’s Disease is a difficult journey, quality of life can be improved and burdens can be eased with quality palliative care.
Contact Compassionate Hospice & Palliative Care In Mesa
Americare Hospice is dedicated to providing skilled, patient-centered palliative and hospice care services for families throughout the Mesa area. As Mesa’s only Catholic hospice, we support patients of all faiths, and their families, through a difficult time with grace and dignity. Call us today to learn more about how we can serve you.
Office: (480) 726-7773
Fax: (480) 726-7790