It is a sobering reality that Alzheimer’s disease is a terminal disease. No one who is diagnosed with it will die without it. While advancements in treatment and management have made it so that some people with the disease are living twenty years or more after diagnosis, the average lifespan is between four and eight years after diagnosis. While this isn’t something that you want to think about as a family caregiver or an adult child, it is important that you approach this final transition in your parent’s journey openly, confidently, and with a willingness to make the decisions that are right for your loved one, and for yourself. One of these decisions might be starting hospice care.
Hospice care, also referred to as palliative care or comfort care, is a type of care specifically designed not to treat or cure any condition, but to ease a person through the final stage of their life with comfort, peace, and dignity. This care involves interventions that will relieve pain and other symptoms while ceasing treatments and interventions meant to cure or end diseases or conditions.
Some signs that it is time to consider hospice care for your elderly adult with Alzheimer’s disease include:
- The doctor has told you or your parent that they have six months or less to live.
- Your parent has pain or discomfort symptoms that need to be managed regularly.
- Both of you have accepted that this is the end of their life and they are ready to cease any life-sustaining interventions.
- Your parent’s care needs have increased and you need further assistance handling them.
- You are feeling stress, anxiety, or other emotional symptoms and need support to help you manage them effectively.
Starting elder care for your parent can be an exceptional way for you to ensure that your senior is getting everything that they need to maintain their quality of life as they age in place. The highly personalized services of an elderly home care services provider are tailored to your parent as an individual. This means that they will specifically address your parent’s challenges, needs, and limitations while encouraging them to live a lifestyle that is as active, independent, and fulfilling as possible as they age in place. These services can include anything from safe and reliable transportation that allows your parent to go where they want and need to when they want and need to rather than waiting for you to assistance in fulfilling activities of daily living to companionship to boost mental and emotional health. As their family caregiver, this can give you peace of mind and reassurance that your senior is in good hands even when you are not able to be with them.