Alzheimer's disease is a fatal form of dementia that affects memory, cognitive processing, and behavior. It's degenerative, meaning that the condition progresses over time. Eventually, symptoms interfere with daily tasks, and the patient's health declines. Hospice care aims to improve the comfort and dignity of terminal individuals nearing the end of life. Here's a closer look at how your loved one can benefit from this level of close care.
Why Hospice Is Often the Best Choice for End-Stage Alzheimer's Disease
Hospice care is designed to help optimize comfort for individuals with end-stage Alzheimer's disease. It allows for ongoing pain management and adaptable settings that help cater to limited mobility or self-care. Transferring into hospice will also ensure your loved one takes medication as needed and receives early intervention during stressful experiences.
Hospice also provides a strong support system for the emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of both the patient and the family. These professional caregivers can answer questions and offer additional therapy as needed, making your loved one feel as relaxed as possible during the final days.
When to Seek Hospice Care
Unfortunately, as Alzheimer's disease advances, it can be difficult for individuals to communicate their discomfort as well as their wants and needs. Estimating life expectancy is also difficult, as the decline can be unpredictable. As your loved one's health starts to decline, the transfer to hospice care can be a complicated yet important decision.
Many hospice programs use criteria to assess individuals for admittance, primarily the presence of other illnesses and their ranking on the Reisberg Functional Assessment Staging (FAST) scale. Generally, an individual must be expected to have fewer than six months remaining in their life and be referred by a physician to qualify. Family members can work with physicians and the hospice's medical team to determine the best time to begin the transfer into the appropriate facility.
If your loved one has end-stage Alzheimer's disease and needs help supporting their final needs, trust Deer Valley Hospice Care. This St. Louis, MO-based hospice facility offers an array of services, including palliative, general inpatient, continuous, and respite care. They also offer in-home services so that their clients can continue to live in the comfort of their own environment. To provide ongoing hospice care, a member of their medical team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for expert assistance in emergency situations. They also welcome volunteers looking to donate their time and skills in this sensitive setting. To learn more about their services, visit them online or call (314) 396-2211 to schedule a consultation today.
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