Making the move to hospice care is a big decision, and it’s especially so for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. People living with Alzheimer’s require special care and attention, both with everyday living and with approaching the end of life with dignity and compassion.
Hospice Care is Important for Alzheimer’s Patients
There are some signs that are considered to be major indicators that it’s time to start considering hospice care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. They are:
- Two or more instances of serious infection, including pneumonia, in the past six months
- Trouble chewing and swallowing that leads to noticeable weight loss
- Skin pressure ulcers that do not heal as expected
Alzheimer’s is a progressive condition with stages that are defined by noticeable symptoms and impacts on cognitive and physical functioning. In the later stages of Alzheimer’s, patients typically require help getting dressed, bathing, using the bathroom, and have increasing difficulty speaking and sitting up. This is also a time when hospice care should be considered an option.
What Patients and Loved Ones Need to Know
Alzheimer’s patients decline gradually, so it is common for families to put off hospice care. However, with the gradual progression of the disease, it’s all too common for a patient to be suffering needlessly before the proper support and care is sought.
Hospice Care Provides Both Comfort and Management
Hospice care provides comfort, pain management, and day-to-day support that can significantly improve the quality of life of a person with Alzheimer’s.
The benefits of hospice care extend to the family and caregivers of the Alzheimer’s patient, too. Hospice care workers can shoulder more of the burden and relieve the stress that comes from caring for a sick loved one and prevent the depression and burnout that commonly affect family caregivers.
If you’re unsure whether the time has come to consider hospice care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s, we can help you find the way forward. Contact Hospice Group of Southern California today to discuss your options with a member of our dedicated team. We offer home hospice and telecare hospice depending on need and preference.