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December 3, 2018

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How Palliative Care Benefits Alzheimer’s Patients

May 22, 2018

Palliative Care Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia, a degenerative disease that affects a person’s memory and reasoning. The symptoms can range from not recognizing your surroundings to forgetting the names of your friends and family. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer's Disease, and as it progresses, specialized care is often required.

 

This is why so many families turn to palliative care when their loved one is in the later stages of Alzheimer's Disease. While palliative treatment cannot cure the condition, it can improve the quality of life for the patient and reduce some of the symptoms.

 

Understanding Palliative Care

 

Palliative care is a type of specialized medical care for people facing serious illnesses, such as cancer, ALS, and Alzheimer’s Disease. The treatment is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and social workers who work to improve the quality-of-life of the patient and provide support for their family.

 

Though palliative treatments can be similar to hospice care, they differ in many ways. Unlike hospice care, a patient can receive palliative treatments at any stage of their illness. They can also continue to receive medical treatments that work to improve their condition or cure their disease. For example, a cancer patient can continue to receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy while receiving palliative care.

 

Care for Alzheimer’s Patient  

 

For patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, palliative care focuses on treating some of the symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Doctors and nurses will also create a soothing and comfortable environment for the patient. They may focus some of their attention on lighting, since shadows are known to create confusion for some Alzheimer’s patients.

 

Over time, the team of caregivers will notice what seems to trigger confusion or mood swings and adjust their practices for the patient. Depending on the patient, some palliative treatments may also include physical therapy and memory therapy.

 

How Palliative Care Can Benefit Your Family

 

Palliative care is also meant to benefit the family of the patient. When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, it can be devastating for the family. However, by working with experienced doctors, nurses, and social workers, you will receive the support you need to cope with some of your concerns. You will also receive the peace-of-mind that your loved one’s quality-of-life is improving. Most importantly, working with a trusted care facility lets you know that your family is not alone in this experience.

 

How Haven Hospice Can Help

 

Haven Hospice provides hospice and palliative care for patients in Southwest Missouri. Our palliative services focus on managing pain, reducing symptoms, and providing spiritual and emotional support for the patient and their family. To learn more, contact us today.

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