For the loved ones of an Alzheimer’s patient, facing the late stages of the disease can be tough. Making choices about the best care options for a loved one only becomes more difficult as the disease progresses. This is also a sign that their end of life is approaching. With a focus on comfort and pain management for a terminally ill patient, hospice care for Alzheimer’s patients addresses the late stages of the disease.
If you have questions about hospice for Alzheimer’s, feel free to
call us at (702) 509-5276 or contact us online.
When Is an Alzheimer’s Patient Ready for Hospice?
Alzheimer’s patient must have a life expectancy of fewer than six months before beginning hospice care. Hospice providers will require that the patient is referred by a doctor, but you do not need to wait for your family member’s physician to recommend hospice services.
If you think that your loved one is ready for hospice, you should speak with their current doctor about hospice options.
Family members of Alzheimer’s patients often find it productive to begin the discussion about hospice care with their loved one’s physician as the patient enters the late stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Alternatively, you can initiate a self-referral process by directly contacting your local Las Vegas hospice.
When to Call Hospice for Alzheimer’s
Because all Alzheimer’s patients experience the disease in different ways, every patient’s progression of symptoms will be different. However, late-stage of Alzheimer’s disease typically comes with a set of symptoms that can signal a readiness for hospice care.
In late-stage Alzheimer’s disease, the effects of the illness on mental function as well as physical capabilities and movement become pronounced. Patients will lose awareness of their environment and recent experiences as well as the ability to communicate or control their movements.
Many with Alzheimer’s will undergo personality changes at this stage of the disease. They will also require extensive help with everyday activities and personal hygiene including assistance with toileting.
Eventually, many individuals with Alzheimer’s lose their ability to walk, sit and even swallow. In the final stages, Alzheimer’s patients become susceptible to many infections such as pneumonia; indeed, pneumonia is cited as the cause of death in almost two-thirds of dementia patients.
It’s hard to predict exactly how long a patient with late-stage Alzheimer’s will survive; some individuals in this stage of the disease will live for several years, while others will last only weeks. Your loved one’s doctor can help you determine their specific predicted life expectancy.
Hospice for Alzheimer’s Patients
Alzheimer’s disease is a difficult illness both for the patient and their loved ones. Home hospice care can provide support as the end of life approaches. At Omni Care Hospice, we are pleased to provide compassionate end-of-life care in Las Vegas. Call us at (702) 509-5276 if you have any questions regarding hospice care for late-stage Alzheimer’s patients.