Making decisions about end-of-life care is difficult for patients stricken with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other cognitive impairments. The ever-changing roller coaster of emotions and feelings of uncertainty, as well as the complexity of care and support options available, makes it challenging to choose the best course of action for you and your family. The good news is that quality hospice care and palliative care services are widely available for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and offer comprehensive symptom management along with end-of-life care that patients with cognitive impairment and their families need.
If you are reading the information on this web page, chances are you, or someone you love, is facing a difficult battle with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. Your search for answers to important questions about care and support for your loved one with dementia becomes even more difficult as the disease progresses. Alliance Hospice recognizes the emotional toll and immense courage it takes to help a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s and we are prepared to help.
When is it time to discuss hospice care for a patient with Dementia?
Hospice care for dementia patients is often described as an approach that treats the patient, not the disease. The goal of hospice is to make the patient as comfortable, safe and as symptom free as possible.
At Alliance Hospice we recognize the courage it takes to help a loved one who is suffering from a chronic illness like Alzheimer’s or dementia. We also understand the physical and emotional stress it places on you to care for this loved one.
Patients with dementia experience a slow decline in cognitive ability over many months and years. Because of the slow progression of the disease, it can be difficult to determine when the right time is to consider hospice care. A clinical determination of a Dementia patient’s life expectancy can only be made by a physician. However, the following is a list of symptoms that may be signs that Dementia has progressed and that the patient and their loved ones would both benefit from the services offered by hospice care.