For the past four decades, Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month has spotlighted a condition that affects millions worldwide. Each June, communities, organizations, and authorities unite to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and the critical importance of early diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s remains the most prevalent form of dementia, responsible for two-thirds of cases. While medical breakthroughs have occurred over the years, the journey toward finding a cure continues.

This everyday disease presents a complex spectrum of symptoms, with each patient experiencing a unique progression. However, there is a common thread: as time passes, patients with Alzheimer’s become increasingly reliant on caregivers. The disease gradually deteriorates cognitive functions, impairing problem-solving skills and judgment, thereby heightening the risk of accidents and injuries. Thus, caring for Alzheimer’s patients poses significant challenges and often requires a team-based approach.

Understanding the Stages of Alzheimer’s Caregiving

In-home care is a common approach for managing Alzheimer’s due to the varied nature of its symptoms. Caregiving for Alzheimer’s patients typically develops across three distinct stages, each reflecting the evolving cognitive impairment:

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Key Facts about Alzheimer’s

To fully seize the dimensions of Alzheimer’s disease, consider these sobering statistics:

  • Worldwide, more than 55 million people are living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
  • Every 65 seconds, a person in the country develops Alzheimer’s disease.
  • In the United States alone, over 16 million individuals serve as caregivers for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • Shockingly, Alzheimer’s disease ranks as the sixth leading cause of death nationwide.

While memory loss often serves as the earliest indicator of Alzheimer’s, the disease can manifest in various ways as it progresses. Challenges in communication, alterations in behavior, decreased awareness of surroundings, and mood fluctuations may emerge, leading to feelings of isolation for patients and their families.

Hospice Care for Alzheimer’s Patients: A Drive of Support

At Ascend Hospice Care, we recognize how deeply Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia impact patients and families. Throughout Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, we stand in solidarity with those affected, emphasizing our profound commitment to raising awareness and offering support.

As Alzheimer’s disease advances, families may weigh when it’s appropriate to consider hospice care. While every situation is unique, several indicators may signal that a patient could benefit from hospice services, including:

  • 1

    Advanced Disease Progression – As Alzheimer’s enters its later stages, patients often experience a decline in cognitive and physical functioning, needing specialized care.

  • 2

    Frequent Hospitalizations – Repeated hospital visits may indicate that the disease has progressed beyond manageable levels, prompting the need for comprehensive hospice support.

  • 3

    Decline in Quality of Life – When Alzheimer’s significantly impairs a patient’s ability to engage in meaningful activities and enjoy life, hospice care can offer holistic support to enhance comfort and well-being.

Qualifying for Hospice with Alzheimer’s

Hospice Care has specific eligibility criteria for patients facing Alzheimer’s disease. Generally, people with this condition may qualify for hospice if they meet the following:

Join the Fight to End Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month is an excellent opportunity to spark conversations, share your story with the hashtag #ENDALZ, and raise awareness about the impact of Alzheimer’s disease. With more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, it is only crucial to unite in the fight against this devastating illness. Wear purple, share stories of loved ones lost to Alzheimer’s, and educate yourself and others about cognitive health.

As we strive to combat Alzheimer’s, let us recognize that every action, no matter how small, brings us one step closer to a world free from the darkness of this disease. Together, we can strive to make a significant difference in the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia.

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We understand that the decision to transition towards end-of-life therapy needs to be taken with utmost care, that’s why we created this helpful blog.