For family and caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients, facing the last stages of this disease is an incredible challenge — not just emotionally, but physically and mentally. This is a time in which making care decisions becomes more and more difficult. During these final life stages, hospice services can provide the care and support you and your loved one need. If you’re considering hospice care, be aware of signs that your loved one is ready for professional end-of-life care.
An Alzheimer’s patient is ready for hospice when:
- A doctor has diagnosed a life expectancy of 6 months or less. This criterion is universal for all hospice patients, regardless of their health conditions, as this care is designed to manage pain and focus on comfort in the last stages of life — not provide treatment for a disease.
- They become totally dependent. In the final stages of Alzheimer’s, patients become totally dependent on caregivers for assistance in daily life and activities. This includes physical dependency, as many people are unable to walk, sit or attend to their personal hygiene.
- Weight loss increases. Late-stage Alzheimer’s patients struggle to take in enough food and liquid, have difficulty manipulating utensils, and even difficulty chewing and swallowing, which leads to weight loss.
- They are unable to communicate effectively. The loss of intelligent speech, inability to express themselves, and inability to respond to others indicate the disease is reaching its final phase.
- They are more vulnerable to other diseases and infections. Dealing with other health conditions along with Alzheimer’s can be exceptionally challenging, as many patients suffer from pneumonia and other infections.
Hospice in South Jersey is about spending quality time with your loved one
Alzheimer’s is a challenge for patients and their loved ones, and even more so for family caregivers. Hospice is not just about providing comfort and care for our residents, it’s about taking the weight off family caregivers and loved ones so they can make the most of this final time together in a supportive environment.
At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer a compassionate, professional hospice neighborhood in Cape May County called Bridges. In this program, we focus on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for patients and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support.
To find out more about our hospice neighborhood in the Jersey Shore area, please visit our website and contact us today at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/ to arrange your visit.
Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/signs-loved-one-alzheimers-ready-hospice-care/