Caregivers often understand that hospice care can improve the quality of life for those with life-limiting illnesses. The challenge when a loved one has Alzheimer’s comes in understanding at what point in the disease they are eligible for the support of hospice care. Because the disease often robs people of their verbal communication skills, families often struggle to know where their loved one is in the disease process. Even physicians aren’t always clear on what qualifies a person with Alzheimer’s disease for hospice.
In general, you can ask yourself the following questions to determine if a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s is eligible for the added support of hospice care:
- Have they had a 10% or greater weight loss in the last six months?
- Have they experienced a number of falls or are they unable to walk without assistance?
- Is their ability to verbally communicate impaired?
- Are they incontinent of bowel or bladder?