Providing Hospice & Palliative Care in Orangeburg, Bamberg, & Calhoun Counties

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Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease and End of Care

The final stage of Alzheimer’s disease brings some unique challenges that end of life care can help families to manage. Here are some tips.
End of Life Care North SC - Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease and End of Care
End of Life Care North SC - Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease and End of Care

Late-stage Alzheimer’s disease brings with it severe cognitive decline. Patients are often unable to do anything on their own any longer and experience significant memory loss, difficulty communicating, and a marked decline in physical function. If these issues are combined with serious health issues, families may find it even more difficult to cope. As end-of-life concerns become more real, end of life care services can help to alleviate some of these concerns.

Family Challenges

Families who have been caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease for a long time are often not able to manage all of the changes that late-stage Alzheimer’s can bring. They may need additional assistance with around-the-clock care and addressing complicated medical needs. End of life care can step in and address those challenges while offering support to families.

Focusing on the Person

Hospice care focuses on addressing the individual patients’ needs. Care plans take into account preferences, needs, and the patient’s unique history. With late-stage Alzheimer’s disease, that means tailoring care to maintain a sense of both comfort and familiarity for the patient. Medical providers, family members, and hospice care providers work together to put a care plan together that addresses all of these concerns.

Managing Pain and Other Symptoms

The holistic support offered by end of life care is designed to help manage all sorts of symptoms for patients. Alzheimer’s patients in particular are not always able to communicate their symptoms, especially pain. Hospice providers can watch for signs of discomfort and pain, putting solutions in place to help keep patients comfortable.

Educating Families

There are so many aspects of the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease that can be upsetting and confusing for family members. Hospice providers are there to offer education about what is happening, what the next steps are, and how families and care providers can help. This open communication helps families to understand what to expect and what their family members need.

Offering Emotional Support for Families

Beyond the hands-on support necessary during this difficult time, families need emotional support, too. Families are facing the loss of someone they love who has been dealing with a difficult illness. Hospice offers help with finding counseling and guidance on coping with stress and grief, along with resources to help families with end-of-life planning.

End of Life Care North SC - Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease and End of Care
End of Life Care North SC – Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease and End of Care

Coordinating Dignified End of Life Care

Hospice helps to coordinate care when patients have a variety of healthcare professionals and issues. This is a collaborative approach that addresses a wide range of needs comprehensively. Hospice also focuses on ensuring that care is as dignified and compassionate as possible through to the very end.

Late-stage Alzheimer’s disease creates a series of demanding challenges for patients and their families. Working with hospice elder care as soon as possible helps families to have the compassionate and specialized care that they need to take the best possible care of the people they love. Hospice can address all sorts of needs and concerns, ranging from symptom management to bereavement assistance and final wish planning.

If you or your aging loved one could benefit from End of Life Care Services in North SC, contact the caring staff at Grove Park Hospice, at (803)536-6644.

Providing Hospice & Palliative Care in Orangeburg, Bamberg, & Calhoun Counties.

Debbie Hare, LMSW

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