Alzheimer’s is perhaps the most dreaded dementia related disorder that any person can get. People react differently to the news upon diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Often the reactions involve some form of denial accompanied with grief. A simple Google search will reveal that most Alzheimer’s statistics are pretty bleak. However, with the right treatment and care, one can prevent, for some time, any onset of more severe Alzheimer’s symptoms.
When learning about Alzheimer’s, it is interesting to note that the symptoms vary from one individual to the next. Thus, though symptoms usually progress slowly and worsen over time, the particular nature of which symptom you will get may vary. Generally, symptoms are categorized in terms of stages. Early-stage Alzheimer’s may begin with no impairment or mild decline while late-stage or advanced Alzheimer’s may see the patient suffer from very severe cognitive decline.
Characteristics of advanced Alzheimer’s include the individual losing the ability to respond to their environment or even carry on a conversation. Eventually, the individual will also lose the ability to control movement. However, the patient may still be able to say some words or even phrases.
Persons with advanced Alzheimer’s will need help with all of their daily personal care. This includes eating as well as using the toilet. Persons at this stage of Alzheimer’s tend to lose their ability to smile or sit without support. The reflexes may also become abnormal as their muscles grow rigid.
The aforementioned symptoms are just some of the common ones. They help give an expectation of what to expect with late stage Alzheimer’s. At this stage, you will find that the patient is wholly reliant on the caregiver. As such, one has to make the careful decision of whether to continue care for the patient within their own home or refer the individual to professional care-givers.
There are several disadvantages to choosing personal care for advanced Alzheimer’s patients. As the patient will require 24 hour assistance, providing such care by yourself may prove to be too tasking. Moreover, any emergency situations cannot be adequately taken care of in the home setting. Instead of choosing to care for the individual by yourself, a residential care setting may be a better solution.
Instead of choosing residential care, you may also want to think of hospice care. Hospices are dedicated to providing comfort and care for persons with terminal illnesses such as advanced Alzheimer’s. The professional care provided will definitely help the patient live more comfortably.
Under the current Medicare plan, a person must have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s by a recognized physician to qualify for hospice care. Moreover, the diagnosis must also include that the person has less than 6 months to live if Medicare is to cover the hospice costs.