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Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are progressive diseases that eventually lead to end of life for those suffering. When your loved one reaches more challenging stages of dementia, hospice care is extremely valuable. Hospice is a specialized type of care that focuses on comfort and quality of life for patients who are terminally ill—with a prognosis of six months or less if their disease runs its normal course.
Transitioning to hospice care can be a difficult decision, but it can also be a relief for both patients and caregivers. Hospice care can provide your loved one with the support and care they need during their final months of life. You do not need to wait until the very end to initiate hospice—which is a common misconception.
If your loved one does not have a Primary Care Physician, we can help you obtain an order for hospice care. The PCP will write an order to initiate hospice. This is step one.
Once you meet with us, you will be assigned a team of caregivers who will work with you to create a care plan for your loved one. The hospice team will include nurses, social workers, aides, and other professionals who are skilled in caring for people with dementia.
We will bring in all necessary supplies and durable medical equipment (DME) that your loved one will need to be safe and comfortable in the place they call home.
Our Hospice agency can provide a variety of services to help you and your loved one transition to hospice care. These services may include:
If you are considering hospice care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, please contact us today. We make the process simple, letting you focus on what matters most!
If you have a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you know that it can be a challenging condition to manage. As the disease progresses, it can become increasingly difficult to perform daily tasks and stay safe. Home health care can provide valuable assistance to both people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
Home health care is a type of medical care that is provided in the patient’s home. It can be provided by a variety of healthcare professionals, including nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists + other disciplines including Social Workers. Home health care services can be tailored to meet the individual needs of the patient and their caregiver(s).
Nurses can provide a variety of skilled medical care services, such as wound care, injections, and medication management.
Home health aides can help with bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming, and other daily living activities.
Home health aides can provide companionship and support to people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
Home health professionals can teach caregivers new skills, such as how to manage behavioral problems and how to provide safe and effective care.
Home health care allows people with Alzheimer’s to remain in their familiar surroundings, which can help to reduce anxiety and stress.
Home health care services are tailored to meet the individual needs of the patient and their caregiver.
Home health care services can be provided on a schedule that works for the patient and their caregiver.
Many insurance plans cover home health care services, especially if the patient is homebound and requires skilled medical care.
If you are considering home health care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, talk to us today to learn more about how we can help!
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. It is the most common cause of dementia in older adults. Alzheimer’s disease affects everyone differently, but it eventually leads to severe cognitive impairment and death.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be challenging, but it is also a rewarding experience.
Educate yourself about the disease.
The more you know about Alzheimer’s disease, the better equipped you will be to care for your loved one. There are many resources available online and in your community that can provide you with information and support.
People with Alzheimer’s disease are at risk of falls, wandering, and other accidents. It is important to create a safe and supportive environment for your loved one. This may involve removing tripping hazards, installing locks on doors, and using GPS tracking devices (such as medical alert bracelets or inserting Air Tag-like devices in shoes).
People with Alzheimer’s disease often thrive on routine. Establish a regular schedule for meals, activities, and bedtime. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety. (Tip: use colorful plates to help make food easily identifiable).
Alzheimer’s disease can cause people to behave in ways that are frustrating and confusing. It is important to be patient and understanding. Remember that your loved one is not trying to be difficult. (Try not to raise your voice—rather, use a calming tone as much as possible).
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be physically and emotionally demanding. It is important to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly. Make time for activities that you enjoy.
Even if your loved one cannot engage in conversations or activities like they used to, they still enjoy spending time with you. Make time to simply sit with your loved one, hold their hand, or listen to music together. (Music therapy has proven to be effective in calming/lessening anxiety + helps with activities such as reminiscing).
Tell your loved one that you love them and appreciate them. Let them know that you are there for them and will always support them.
Encourage your loved one to continue doing activities that they enjoy. Help them to stay connected with their loved ones and community.
No matter how small, celebrate your loved one’s accomplishments. This will help to boost their self-esteem and confidence.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be challenging, but it is also a rewarding experience. By following the tips above, you can provide your loved one with the care and support they need.
Life is a Journey. We are With You Every Step of The Way!
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you and your loved in the place they call home.
Watching someone you love suffer from Alzheimer’s or another memory debilitating illness is incredibly difficult, and it can be even more challenging to decide when it’s time to consider hospice care. Here, we are sharing five signs it may be the right time to consider the extra support of hospice care for an Alzheimer’s patient.
The Functional Assessment Staging (FAST) Scale is a tool used to determine if changes in a patient’s condition are related to Alzheimer’s disease or another condition. If due to Alzheimer’s, the changes will occur in sequential order. Alzheimer’s disease-related changes do not skip FAST stages.
This means a person is no longer able to get around on their own. For example, they require assistance getting from room to room.
Without assistance, you may notice they put their shoes on the wrong feet or their day-time ‘street’ clothes on over their pajamas. They are also unable to bathe without assistance.
This includes urinary or fecal incontinence or both.
This may begin as the patient only saying 5-6 words per day and gradually reduce to only speaking one word clearly until they can no longer speak or communicate at all. This will also include the inability to smile.
Hospice care is for patients with a life limiting illness and a life expectancy of six months or less. The main focus is to manage pain and symptoms and ultimately keep the patient comfortable. When you choose hospice for your loved one, their care team can help you to understand what to expect in the final stages of Alzheimer’s. They will also provide support to you and the rest of your family throughout the end-of-life process.
If you would like more information on hospice care for Alzheimer’s patients, please contact us. We are here to answer any questions you may have.
Dementia is a broad term, classifying a number of disorders that all impair cognition, thinking skills, behaviors, social skills and relationships in different ways. General signs and symptoms of dementia include trouble remembering things that just happened or happened recently, regularly misplacing everyday items like a wallet or keys, trouble planning meals or remembering to eat, forgetting to pay bills, difficulty remembering how to get to familiar places and missing scheduled appointments to name a few. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms or similar, it is important that you notify someone and plan to see your doctor immediately. Dementia tends to progress over time, with symptoms starting as mild and gradually getting worse. Early diagnosis can maximize available treatment options and potentially open the door to inclusion in clinical trials. Considering disorders with dementia symptoms affect memory and cognition, it may be difficult for an individual to recognize these symptoms in themselves. Family members and friends play a crucial role in noticing changes and raising awareness about potential cognitive disorders.
Early detection allows doctors to determine what the cause of an individual’s cognitive deficit is. If diagnosed with dementia, a doctor can classify which type of dementia an individual has, which can help individuals and their loved ones better understand their disease as well as appropriately plan for treatment.
Included within the classification of dementia is Alzheimer’s, which is the most common form of dementia and accounts for 60-80% of all cases. It is important to note that Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, though age is the greatest known risk factor for individuals who develop Alzheimer’s. Most individuals who are diagnosed are 65 years of age and above, with early-onset or younger-onset Alzheimer’s referring to individuals who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s before the age of 65. Other risk factors include genetics, family history, and risk factors classified as “other”. These include past head injury and the overall health of one’s aging process. While many of these are non-modifiable risk factors, such as aging, genetics and family history, you can facilitate healthy aging by eating a nutritious diet, getting regular exercise, avoiding smoking and alcohol, and visiting your doctor regularly.
Alzheimer’s is due to physical changes in the brain. Current research has led scientists to understand that a part of the brain isn’t working properly in individuals with Alzheimer’s, which causes atrophy or shrinkage and death of brain cells. Though it has not yet been identified where the damage begins, research has shown that two types of proteins called plaques and tangles are responsible for much of the brain cell damage and death. Over time, more and more cells shrink and die, leading to irreversible changes in the brain.
The initial changes to the brain begin before any signs and symptoms become present, so it is important to be able to identify early potential symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Early signs and symptoms include forgetting recent conversations and events, misplacing items, forgetting names of common places and objects, repeating questions, poor judgment, difficulty making decisions, isolation from family or friends, and becoming increasingly resistant to change.
Middle-stage symptoms show worsening memory problems. This includes difficulty remembering the names of people they know and struggling to recognize friends and family. Other symptoms at this stage may include getting lost or not knowing what time of day it is, obsessive and repetitive behavior, delusions and paranoia, problems with speech and language, disturbed sleep, and mood changes. Ultimately, in the end stages of Alzheimer’s, symptoms will become so severe that individuals will become totally dependent on their caretaker. While many things may cause memory or cognitive impairment and the early signs of Alzheimer’s may appear unassuming, it is important to contact your doctor if you are experiencing any dementia-like symptoms.
While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are several medications that can slow disease progression and aid in symptom management, such as reducing depression and anxiety. In addition to medication management, facilitating a healthy lifestyle can significantly improve an individual’s lifespan and quality of life with this disease. Consider incorporating regular exercise and eating a diet consisting of less processed foods, while adding in more fresh fruits and vegetables. Reduce or eliminate smoking and alcohol consumption. Spend time with family and friends and take part in social activities and hobbies that inspire joy and encourage engagement with others. If you are taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s, try to encourage them to partake in these lifestyle behaviors. In conjunction with current treatments, the quest to better understand Alzheimer’s and ultimately find a cure is at the forefront of biomedical research.
The challenge of being the loved one or family member of someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is not overlooked. If you are a caretaker, make sure you are taking your own health and wellness into consideration. Find individuals that can help with care and consider joining a support group of individuals that you can talk to about your situation.
If you need help, contact the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline: 800-272-3900
Image 1 – https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia
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Image 3 – https://mind.help/topic/alzheimers/
Alzheimer’s Association – https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia
American Brain Foundation –
NHS – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/alzheimers-disease/symptoms/
Mayo Clinic –
As Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month continues, we want to discuss a very important topic- communication and Alzheimer’s. As the disease progresses, a person’s ability to communicate gradually diminishes. Changes in communication vary from person to person, but there are several common issues you can expect to see, including difficulty finding the right words and organizing words logically.
If someone you love is living with the disease, you know it can be challenging at times to communicate with them. The video above discusses the following ten tips for effectively communicating with your loved one.
In addition to these tips, there are steps you can take to help make communication easier, including:
You also want to encourage the person to communicate with you. You can do this by doing things like holding their hand while you talk and showing a warm, loving manner. It is also important to be patient with angry outbursts and remember that it is just the illness talking.
Since the disease is being diagnosed at earlier stages, many people are aware of how it is impacting their memory. This can make communication even more sensitive because they may become frustrated when they are aware of the memory loss. Here are some tips for how to help someone who knows they have memory problems.
For more information on Alzheimer’s disease and how it impacts communication, visit the links or reach out to the contacts below:
** NIA Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
** Family Caregiver Alliance
** Alzheimer’s Association