At What Point Is Hospice Care Necessary for an Alzheimer’s Patient?

While there is no known cure for the brain illness of Alzheimer’s, which affects an estimated 5 million Americans, it can be particularly challenging for family members when a loved one is diagnosed. Symptoms of the late-onset variety usually start to become visible in patients by their mid-60s. As older adults are more susceptible to this type of dementia, Los Angeles hospice or palliative care may be considered to ensure a comfortable and dignified final chapter in life. This leads to the question: what stage does someone need to be at for end-of-life care to become a viable option? 

To be admitted into hospice care in Los Angeles, most people with Alzheimer’s disease must show at least several of the following signs and symptoms:  

  • The inability to move independently, needing help to get dressed, and lacking the capability of bathing on one’s own. 
  • They may face difficulty swallowing or even choking while consuming food or liquids, which might result in dehydration or weight loss due to an eating difficulty. 
  • Armrests are essential to staying in place, or they risk falling from their chairs and require special seating arrangements. 
  • Speech is limited to only a few words, barely making sense, and communication does not exceed six words daily. 
  • Controlling bladder and bowel movements and an inability to smile prove troublesome. 
  • The life expectancy of such individuals stands at six months or less. 

It is typical for people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s to have difficulties remembering or finding things or recalling names and words. Even though they may still be functional during this period, it becomes increasingly complex for them to stay organized and make suitable arrangements. As the disease advances, confusion will worsen, and the person’s capacity to remember information such as important dates, locations, and even how to dress appropriately for the weather needs more assistance. Both sleep patterns and personality can also change due to Alzheimer’s. On average, another four to eight years of life span can be expected after diagnosis, although it might be shorter for those over 80 years old. 

Trust Faith & Hope Hospice to Provide Care and Comfort 

Deciding whether to pursue a hospice center for a family member who has dementia can be tricky due to the slow nature of its progression. That’s why we strongly recommend getting answers as soon as possible to get an idea of whether or not the Los Angeles hospice qualifying requirements are satisfied. The team at Faith & Hope Hospice & Palliative Care is dedicated to ensuring that those struggling with end-stage Alzheimer’s and other dementias have access to improved quality of life. Don’t hesitate to contact our experienced Los Angeles hospice and palliative care team today. You can get in touch several ways—call us at (877) 797-1977, use our online contact form, or email us at [email protected]

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