When using the term “hospice,” chances are you may think about a terminal illness or extreme old age. However, not many people know that there is more to hospice beyond diagnoses and stigmas.
Hospice is “end-of-life” care meant to help people who suffer from chronic diseases cope with their symptoms. Patients who have chronic issues such as heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, stroke, renal failure, and dementia are examples of patients who may benefit from hospice care. This blog post will focus on how people with dementia will benefit with hospice care.
Why Dementia Patients Will Benefit from Hospice Care
When it comes to the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and other related types of dementia, it can be particularly difficult to categorize into neat and definite stages. Those with dementia may become combative, agitative, and forgetful. Hospice has integrated teams trained and qualified to address the concerns of the patient while providing emotional support to the families.
Why Dementia Complicates Eligibility for Hospice Care
With dementia, it may be more complicated to determine the life expectancy of a patient because of how complex symptoms present and other comorbidities. To qualify, the person must have a prognosis of six months or less. Those with dementia may have other medical conditions which can be used to qualify for hospice. A person living with you or in an assisted facility with dementia will experience good and bad days. Speaking with a hospice agency will be able to assist with Medicare/Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Most of the time, patients with a stage 7 ranking on a FAST scale are eligible hospice candidates. These patients may lose the ability to walk, eat, dress and bathe on their own. If they are no longer able to move about freely, it would be best to talk about the possibility of hospice services. Since all medical conditions do not progress in the same way, start a conversation with the elder’s doctor to seek hospice early and truly reap the benefits and the support it gives to families.
Seeking Hospice Care for Your Elderly Loved Ones with Dementia
Dementia is an extremely unpredictable type of condition. Patients may become better and then take a turn for the worse again on a daily basis. While this may be the initial reason why it may be difficult to determine whether they will benefit from hospice care or not, it may also be the reason to seek help and advice in the first place.
If you are looking for a home hospice care and home health services provider call us at (470) 395-6567, come to Golden Rule Hospice. We offer compassionate palliative care along with social and spiritual support for patients and their families, We have locations in Alpharetta and Atlanta and serve patients in 18 counties throughout Georgia. Schedule a consultation with us today!