When Is An Alzheimer’s Patient Ready For Hospice Care?

Maintaining a High Quality Of Life During End-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

The question of when is the best time to start hospice care in Phoenix for an individual with Alzheimer’s is a hard one that families must answer. There are many factors (some more obvious than others) that you should consider before beginning hospice care. Diagnosis, functional ability, dementia severity, and caregiver health are just some examples.

If you have a relative with Alzheimer’s disease or if this type of dementia runs in your family, you might be worried about how to care for them. This condition worsens over time, so you must plan palliative care to know what to expect. 

After receiving a diagnosis, you need to consider hospice and palliative care services to simplify the disease. Palliative care services can assist family caregivers in managing the difficulties of maintaining a high quality of life during end-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer's patient receiving hospice care services in Arizona

The Effects Of Alzheimer’s Disease On Daily Life

Alzheimer’s is a disease that worsens with time. Each patient experiences the course of the symptoms differently. Since dementia progression typically takes years, a patient’s needs evolve and become more complex. Even if they were able to care for the patient in the earlier stages of the disease, caregivers might find it more challenging to offer the necessary support and care in the later stages, even in a Glendale hospice center.

Memory, language, focus, and spatial awareness problems are common signs in dementia patients. Alterations in mood, such as agitation and restlessness, can also be signs of dementia.

Dementia develops over years, contrary to a terminal illness that takes months to manifest. Patients may lose awareness of their illnesses, lose their sense of location, or question why they require assistance with daily activities. They may also question why they need to take their medications or special care.

Patients with advanced Alzheimer’s disease may lose the ability to dress, use the restroom independently, or move around. 

Language abilities could degrade to the point that the patient cannot talk to family members and carers. Incontinence and swallowing issues might appear in dementia patients as the disease progresses. The person’s mobility may become so limited that they require assistance to walk, stand, or sit down. 

Some patients experience the development of additional conditions during the disease’s last stages, such as pneumonia, urethral infections, or septicemia, which can make care more difficult.

Challenges Of Home Care For Dementia Patients

As Alzheimer’s disease advances into late-stage dementia, more hands-on care is required to enable the patient to retain the highest quality of life possible with Phoenix palliative care.

Someone in the terminal stages of dementia may not grasp what is going on, making it difficult for a family caregiver to assist. As the patient loses recognition of familiar faces, personality changes can cause family stress.

It can be challenging to get a family member with dementia to eat, and feeding changes in Alzheimer’s patients can lead to weight loss or nutritional deterioration. The patient will have trouble swallowing yet be unable to express this, leading to food being pocketed, coughing, choking, or aspiration.

These problems may be worse in patients with co-occurring conditions such as cardiovascular disease, COPD, diabetes, or renal failure. Your loved one’s normal doctor and the hospice care team can work together to develop ways to treat the symptoms of these conditions as well as dementia symptoms.

How Hospice Care Works For A Patient With Alzheimer’s

A doctor can recommend hospice care when a patient’s Alzheimer’s disease progresses to the point that daily activities become too difficult for family caregivers to handle and symptoms grow substantially worse. 

In short, this special care is necessary when the patient cannot continue with most of their daily routines.

This form of care is designed to allow family carers a short break. Hospice and palliative care in Gilbert may be covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance in some cases, so check with your provider to see if coverage is available.

A Reliable Palliative Care Center Can Help

Hospice care specialists can help families create routines that will make an Alzheimer’s patient feel more at ease. Bereavement counseling is also included to assist the family members to process their loss after a loved one passes away while getting hospice care.

Talk to your doctor to know the best time for hospice care if your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. For additional information about hospice and palliative care alternatives for patients with advanced dementia, get in touch with Americare Hospice. Contact us through our online form.

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Americare Hospice and Palliative Care
1212 N. Spencer St., Suite #2
Mesa, Arizona 85203

Office: (480) 726-7773
Fax: (480) 726-7790
Email: info@americarehospice.org