It can be difficult to know when an Alzheimer’s patient is ready for hospice care. Often, family members are the ones who have to make this decision. They may feel like they are giving up on their loved ones if they decide to put them in hospice, but it is important to remember that hospice is not a place where people go to die. It is a place where patients can receive care and support in their final days or weeks of life. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the signs that may indicate that it is time for an Alzheimer’s patient to enter hospice care.
If you are the caregiver of an Alzheimer’s patient, you probably already know that the disease progresses slowly over time. In the early stages, patients may only experience mild memory loss and confusion. As the disease progresses, they may begin to have difficulty with basic tasks such as dressing themselves or going to the bathroom. Eventually, they may become completely dependent on their caregivers for all of their needs. While it can be difficult to watch a loved one slowly decline, it is important to remember that each stage of the disease is different and that there is no right or wrong time to consider hospice care.
Quality of Life
One of the most important things to consider when deciding to put an Alzheimer’s patient in hospice is their quality of life. If they are no longer able to enjoy the things that they used to love, it may be time to consider hospice. For example, if a patient used to love going for walks but can no longer walk on their own, they may not be getting the level of exercise that they need to stay healthy.
If they are no longer able to eat solid food, they may not be getting the nutrition that they need. In general, if a patient is no longer able to enjoy their life or perform basic activities of daily living, it may be time to consider hospice care.
Another thing to consider is the level of support that the patient and their family are receiving. If you are feeling overwhelmed as a caregiver, it’s important to know that it’s okay and it’s normal. If you are, this is when it may be time to seek help from hospice. Hospice can provide nurses, social workers, and other professionals who can help care for the patient and offer support to the family. They can also provide respite care, which can give caregivers a much-needed break.
As Alzheimer’s progresses it often can become much harder and very overwhelming for the family members to handle on their own. Activities like swallowing, eating, and using the bathroom can become very hard to handle. Basic functions of life begin to need frequent assistance. If you feel your loved one is at this stage or nearing this stage and may benefit from hospice care, then it may be time.
Talk to The Patient’s Doctor
If you are unsure whether or not hospice care is right for your loved one, it is important to talk to their doctor. They will be able to assess the patient’s condition and make a recommendation about what level of care they need. they may also be able to provide you with information about hospice and how it can benefit both the patient and their family.
It’s important to remember that hospice is for those who have a life expectancy of 6 months or less. For an Alzheimer’s patient to be considered eligible for hospice they must meet this criterion. This is why it is important to stay in contact with their primary care provider, so they can assess if hospice care is the right move just yet. Alzheimer’s works very slowly, but as time progresses it often becomes harder and harder for the patient affected to perform daily tasks to live. It’s at these stages when the complications of the illness can require constant care and supervision to help the patient.
Are There Alternatives to Hospice Care?
While hospice care is for those with a life expectancy of 6 months or less, palliative care is a comfort measure that can be combined with treatment to slow the progression of an illness. Your loved one may be eligible for palliative care to help assist your loved one.
Everyone Is Unique
Every patient with Alzheimer’s is unique in how they respond to and handle the illness. And every caregiver has their own unique situation of how they care for and handle their loved one’s illness. The important thing to do here is to keep in close contact with your loved ones’ primary care doctor to ensure what treatment is right for them as the illness progresses. ss
Deciding to put a loved one in hospice care is never easy, but it is important to remember that hospice is not a place where people go to die. It is a place where patients can receive the care and support they need in their final days, weeks, or months of life. If you are considering hospice care for an Alzheimer’s patient, be sure to talk to their doctor and other members of their healthcare team to make sure it is the right decision for them. The goal, in the end, is to always improve your loved one’s quality of life and to help make the process easier for you and your loved one.
At Crown Hospice, we provide compassionate hospice care services for patients and families who have received a terminal diagnosis. From pain management and symptom control to assisting with activities of daily living, we enable patients to experience a better quality of life. We also offer respite care services so caregivers can tend to their own needs while caring for a loved one.
If you’d like more information on how we can help, please call us at 361-575-5900 or contact us online at any time.