Your Guide to Palliative Care For Dementia and Alzheimer’s

What Is Palliative Care For Advanced Dementia?

Dementia is a slow-progressing disease that causes the deterioration of the brain. When it reaches its later stages, the person with it will have very specific needs, making it difficult for both them and their family to handle. That’s why it’s essential to know the ins and outs of the types of care that are available. 

There are a couple of options when it comes to care for a loved one with dementia. There is a lot of overlap, but they have their differences, as well.

Palliative Care

Palliative care is specialized care for people who have serious illnesses that can affect their quality of life, like dementia. This care is meant to help not only the patient with their day-to-day lives but their family, as well.  The main goal is to create an environment that is as pain-free, stress-free, and comfortable as possible.

The time and effort involved in caring for someone with later stages of dementia can be overwhelming, which is why having a palliative care team on your side is vital. This team will include doctors, nurses, and social workers that work together to ease the pain and stress of everyone involved. They will communicate with each other and the healthcare system to come up with a personalized plan for a loved one with dementia that makes the most sense for them and the family. 

Memory Care

Memory care is specifically designed for individuals with dementia. Memory care facilities provide a secure and supportive environment tailored to the unique needs of residents with memory impairment. The staff members are trained to understand and manage dementia-related challenges.

These facilities offer structured routines, specialized activities, and enhanced safety measures to ensure the well-being of residents. They provide assistance with activities of daily living and medication management. There are also particular activities planned daily to promote cognitive stimulation. palliative care for dementia

Assisted Living

Assisted living is a type of residential care that provides support for individuals who may require assistance with daily activities, but do not necessarily have significant cognitive impairment. Assisted living communities offer a combination of housing, meals, personal care services, and activities aimed at social engagement.

There are specialized assisted living communities that are trained in memory care, but the focus is on supporting the overall well-being of and taking care of the residents. The memory care at assisted living facilities may vary from extensive to minor, depending on the facility. While choosing an assisted living facility, this aspect would need to be taken into account depending on the severity of the mental cognition of your loved one. 

Benefits of Palliative Care for Dementia Patients

The goal of palliative care for dementia is always to improve the life quality of everyone involved, including the patient and the people around them.

Because dementia takes hold so gradually, it is easy for the family of a loved one with dementia to continuously give more and more care until they realize that they are no longer able to function that way. Those in the life of someone with dementia that try to take on the full-time caregiver role have a higher likelihood of becoming sick themselves. That’s why asking for aid is so important.

Palliative care will assist families recognize the signs of progressing dementia and guarantee help with the newfound responsibilities that come with them. Palliative care specialists will also advise on the complex healthcare that generally surrounds those with dementia. 

How to Know When It’s Time for Dementia Palliative Care

Palliative care can be accessed for a person at any stage of dementia, but it can be difficult to realize when it’s time to get help. The severity of dementia in someone you love can be hard to calculate. When you’re trying to decide if it’s time for palliative care, look for these symptoms:

  • Trouble Communicating
  • Memory Loss
  • Increased Agitation, Restlessness, or Confusion
  • Loss of Physical Abilities
  • Wandering
  • Limited Food Intake

How to Get Dementia Palliative Care for a Loved One

Deciding on and following through with getting palliative care for a loved one with dementia involves conversations with their doctor. If everyone agrees that palliative care is what’s best, their doctor can offer a referral.

Dementia Care at Terra Vista of Oakbrook Terrace

If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia, it can seem overwhelming. But the caring professionals at Terra Vista are here to help. We are an award-winning dementia care community that has been specifically designed to ensure that people with dementia are safe and given the best memory care possible to increase their quality of life. 

Learn more by giving us a call at (630) 793-0753, or fill out our form by clicking the button below.

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