How Hospice Benefits People with Dementia
Dementia is not a specific disease, but rather it is a term used to describe a group of symptoms that affect memory, thinking, decision making, and social abilities. While people often live for years with dementia, it is a progressive condition and ultimately a terminal illness. As the disease progresses, individuals and their caregivers will need added support. Hospice care benefits dementia patients by treating pain, managing symptoms, and providing quality of life support.
Addressing Patient Needs.
When an individual is first diagnosed with dementia, they may be in excellent physical shape, but may have trouble remembering words or names or misplacing items around the house. Over time, as dementia progresses, they will begin to require more care as they experience more severe memory loss that begins to affect the activities of daily life. They may forget to dress warmly for cold weather or forget they are cooking a meal and walk away from the stove.
By the time they reach late-stage dementia, they will require 24-hour care. They may stop speaking and forget how to swallow. Hospice care benefits dementia patients by bringing in a team of experts to address their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Aides assist with personal care while nurses ensure medical needs are met. Social workers provide emotional support while connecting the family to additional support in the community. Chaplains provide spiritual support and companionship.
This level of personalized attention and support can greatly increase quality of life for the patient and help to prevent caregiver burnout.
Care Where You Are.
Hospice care is a service provided wherever a patient resides. Hospice benefits dementia patients by providing extra care and support in their home, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home. This care supplements the care being provided by family and facility staff by addressing the patient’s unique end-of-life care needs.
Increased pain and unmanaged symptoms often sends patients rushing to the emergency room in distress. Hospice care manages these symptoms at home, so the patient can stay in their own bed in the place they are most comfortable. All medical equipment, supplies, and medication related to the patient’s terminal illness are delivered, so families can just focus on providing support instead of running errands.
Emotional Support for Dementia Patients.
Sadly, it is common for dementia patients to stop recognizing family and friends, the people they love and who love them. The hospice care team are experts in finding ways to connect with your loved one. They also understand the mental, emotional, and physical challenges family caregivers face with a dementia diagnosis and can provide education, support, and the chance to take a break. If necessary, your hospice social worker can even arrange for a short respite stay for your loved one, placing your loved one in a professional care facility for a few days, so a family caregiver can catch their breath with a few days off from the demands of 24/7 in-home care of a loved one.
To learn more about how Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care benefits patients with dementia, please call us at 1-888-564-3405.
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