Hospice Care for Alzheimer’s patients
Oasis Hospice & Palliative Care meets the unique needs of Alzheimer’s patients who want to live wherever they want: at home, in a long-term care facility, or in an assisted living community. If the patient’s symptoms become too difficult to manage at home alone, hospice services from Oasis Hospice & Palliative Care are an option.
- When is the best time to inquire about hospice care?
- What can hospice do for an Alzheimer’s patient?
- What can hospice do for an Alzheimer’s patient’s family or loved ones?
- What are the general advantages of hospice care?
- How should I approach the hospice conversation with my loved one(s)?
- When is it time to call hospice for Alzheimer’s?
Given the slow decline of an Alzheimer’s patient, determining when the time is right for hospice can be difficult. In general, hospice patients are expected to live for six months or less. Only a doctor can determine a person’s life expectancy clinically. Look for the following common signs that the disease has progressed to the point where everyone involved would benefit from Alzheimer’s hospice care:
- Only a few words can be said by the patient.
- The patient is unable to walk and maybe bedridden.
- The patient is completely reliant on others for food, clothing, and grooming.
- The patient exhibits severe anxiety symptoms.
Request a hospice assessment
When the time comes, the patient’s neurologist or personal physician may recommend hospice care. However, as anyone who has faced a serious illness is aware, patients and family members frequently must act as their own advocates to receive the care they require and deserve.
You, a loved one, or a trusted physician may request an evaluation to determine whether hospice care for Alzheimer’s disease is an appropriate option for care. Call Oasis Hospice & Palliative Care at 773-941-4324 to learn more about how hospice can assist you.
What can hospice do for an Alzheimer’s patient?
Your hospice team assesses the Alzheimer’s patient’s condition and updates the care plan as symptoms and condition change, even daily. Hospice’s goal is to alleviate physical and emotional distress so that patients can maintain their dignity and remain comfortable.
Hospice care encompasses a wide range of services for Alzheimer’s patients, including:
- Individualized care plan – As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, patients lose the ability to communicate their needs. Oasis Hospice & Palliative Care will create a plan that addresses pain, hydration, nutrition, skin care, recurrent infection, and agitation—all of which are common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Patients are cared for wherever they live, whether at home, in long-term care facilities, or in assisted living communities. Currently, Oasis doesn’t provide inpatient hospice services but they can provide round-the-clock care until the patient is able to return home if symptoms become too difficult to manage at home.
- Coordinated care at all levels – A care plan is created with the advice and consent of the patient’s neurologist or another physician. A team manager ensures that information is shared among all physicians, nurses, social workers, and if requested by the patient, clergy. Furthermore, the hospice coordinates and supplies all medications, medical supplies, and medical equipment related to the diagnosis, ensuring that patients have everything they require.
- Emotional and spiritual support – Hospice provides resources to patients to help them maintain their emotional and spiritual well-being.
What can hospice do for the family of an Alzheimer’s patient?
Family members may be called upon to make difficult healthcare and financial decisions, as well as act as caregivers and provide emotional support to others. When the decision to discontinue medical support is made, families frequently experience strong emotions and feel overwhelmed.
Hospice provides comprehensive services to Alzheimer’s patients’ families, including:
- Caregiver education and training – The family caregiver plays an important role in assisting hospice professionals in caring for the patient. As the patient’s condition deteriorates, symptoms worsen, and communication becomes more difficult. We alleviate families’ worries by educating them on how to best care for their loved ones.
- Help with difficult decisions – Hospice assists families in making difficult decisions that affect the patient’s condition and quality of life, such as whether to give antibiotics for a recurring infection.
An Oasis Hospice & Palliative Care nurse is available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week – Even the most seasoned caregivers will have concerns and questions.
- Emotional and spiritual support – Hospice addresses the needs of loved ones as well as the patients.
- Financial assistance – While hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers, families may face financial difficulties because of their loved one’s prolonged illness. During hospice care, social workers can help families with financial planning and finding financial assistance. After a death, they can assist bereaved families in locating financial assistance through human services, if necessary.
- Respite care – Caring for a loved one with a terminal illness can be extremely stressful. Hospice provides up to five days of inpatient care for the patient to provide a break for the caregiver.
- Bereavement services – For a full year after a death, the hospice team works with surviving loved ones to help them express and cope with their grief in their own productive way.
What are the general advantages of hospice care?
- You may have heard the term hospice if you or a loved one is suffering from a terminal illness. Friends and family may have informed you about specialized medical care for patients or support services for loved ones. However, most people are unaware of the numerous other advantages of hospice care.
- Hospice works with patients and families to provide them with the support and resources they need to get through this difficult time in their lives while remaining in comfortable and familiar surroundings.
- Individualized care. When a hospice team works with a patient or family, they become participants in the end-of-life process, which can be a very personal experience for anyone. The hospice mission is to provide individual care for each patient. We pay attention to patients and their loved ones. We fight for them. We work to improve their standard of living.
- Rehospitalization has been reduced. Some seriously ill people visit the emergency room frequently in their final months of life, while others are hospitalized multiple times. Hospice care reduces rehospitalization: According to a study of terminally ill nursing home residents, those enrolled in hospice are much less likely to be hospitalized in the final 30 days of life than those who are not enrolled in hospice (24 percent vs. 44 percent) 1.
- One of the most important advantages of hospice is the peace of mind that comes from knowing that medical assistance is available whenever you need it. OASIS HOSPICE & PALLIATIVE CARE, INC. also provides families with the training, resources, and support they need to provide their sick loved ones with the care they deserve.