End of Life Care
The journey through Alzheimer’s disease can be compared to navigating a winding road that spans years, riddled with intermittent stops, starts, unexpected twists, and a plethora of unknowns. As the dedicated caregiver for an individual grappling with dementia, having foresight about what to expect around the next bend is paramount. This knowledge empowers you to not only be well-prepared but also to administer the most fitting and compassionate level of care in the final stage of Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s, being a highly individualized experience, manifests uniquely in each person. Yet there are certain commonalities at every stage of the disease. When an individual transitions into the last stage, discernible challenges emerge, including struggles with eating … Read More »
It might have been expected, or perhaps broadsided you without warning. Mom has just received the official diagnosis for a progressive disease that is likely to make independent life difficult. While there are a number of uncertainties, one thing is for sure: she is adamant about remaining at home – meaning you’ll have to learn how to care for someone with a progressive disease.
Welcome to the world of family caregiving! If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with what can be expected next, these recommendations will help.
Discover as much as you’re able to about the disease. The older adult’s doctor can provide you with resources and educational materials to help you know what to anticipate and to gain confidence in your caregiving role.
Prioritize … Read More »
If you knew that a significantly better quality of life could be achieved for someone you care about, you would not think twice about exploring that option. Yet one of the most beneficial forms of care – hospice – is one that family members shy away from, due to many different misperceptions and myths about hospice care.
Hospice is meant to help someone with a life-limiting illness find respite from pain and other difficult symptoms, while obtaining comfort as well as spiritual and emotional support. Hospice care is provided night and day, both for the individual needing care as well as family members. And, for anyone covered by Medicare, hospice care is offered for a very low … Read More »
One of the first questions in most people’s minds when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia is, “What can I expect as dementia progresses in the weeks, months, and years to come?” We understand that the hallmark of dementia is the increasing decline in cognitive abilities as well as the skills needed to manage daily life. However, each person progresses through these changes at a different pace. There are a variety of factors that will influence the rate of decline, such as:
Prescription drugs the individual is taking
Overall health and physical makeup
The circle of support in place
The individual’s general emotional wellbeing and resilience
There are also other determinants to take into account based on the specific type of dementia diagnosed. As … Read More »
Each year since 1999, we’ve achieved an increasing decline in cancer-related deaths, an encouraging trend that’s poised to continue as researchers learn more and more facts about cancer and its causes, and are able to develop new and better treatment methods. Yet cancer is still one of the leading causes of death in America, second only to heart disease – making it all the more crucial to continue to press forward with persistence to find a cure.
Here’s what we’ve learned so far:
Diet makes a difference. Although a diet rich in antioxidants can help prevent cell damage (and protect against cancer), a recent study showed that in some cases, cancers take advantage of a nutrient-rich diet, leading to accelerated metastasis. As a result, the recommendation … Read More »
Sharing what’s on our hearts with those we love is never more important than when someone is nearing the end of life. There are often unspoken sentiments and unresolved issues that, once verbalized, can bring peace and a deeper connection with our loved ones in their final days.
As Dr. Jessica Zitter, physician in critical and palliative care medicine at Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA explains, “Those are opportunities for people to take stock and say, ‘I want to be more intentional about how I want to relate to people in my life.’ Death should really be seen as the last opportunity that you have to make amends and clean things up before you’re in the next world, wherever that may be.”
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