Saturday, October 24, 2009

When to Stop Treatment for Advanced Dementia Patients

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

eHow

Deciding when your loved one with dementia is ready to die is difficult. Letting go is a challenge. Understanding what advanced dementia is and preparing for it go a long way in dealing with this hard process. Grieving for your loss is necessary and will bring meaning, healing and wholeness back into your life.

Advanced Dementia
In the last stage of dementia, people lose the ability to react to their surroundings, the power to speak and at the very end the ability to move. Often those affected are unable to understand the meaning of words and the ability to speak except for occasional words that make no sense. These folks need assistance with eating and may not have the ability to recognize or swallow food. They cannot control their bowels or bladder. People with advanced dementia lose the ability to sit without support. They cannot smile or hold up their head. Their reflexes become abnormal and their muscles grow stiff. They may be in pain but cannot express it.

Prepare Early
There are many things you can do to prepare for the time to stop treatment. When your loved one still has the capacity to make his wishes known, make sure he picks the person to make health care decisions when he can't. In other words, execute a health care proxy. Second, be certain he makes known the kind of medical treatment he wants or does not want. Third, get all finances in order, seeking financial and legal advice while your loved one is able to participate in the process. Doing these things makes everything easier.

Care Options
If you are choosing to care for the person with advanced dementia at home, understand that the process is going to become increasingly difficult, Physical needs and the 24-hour care requirements of the final stages of caring often prompts outside help. If, as a caregiver, you want to keep your loved one at home, make sure you have the stamina, space and support from others to do so. You may choose to place your loved on in a skilled nursing facility. You can be there as many hours a day as you want. You have the option to take a break if you need to. You can still direct the care of your loved one without the physical burden to yourself. Many resources are available to help you with placement and service options. Contact your local area Alzheimer's Association for help.

Manage Pain
Managing pain and discomfort necessitates daily observance and re-evaluation of not-so-obvious nonverbal indicators. Especially after a dramatic decline, you may choose to discontinue all other medical interventions and focus on soothing and calming care for the discomfort and symptoms related to dying. Small behavioral changes often indicate unmet needs. Keeping a journal may help you keep track of this. The soothing comfort of massage, touch, music, pleasant smells and your loving voice can also reduce pain. Try different techniques and watch your loved one's response.

Hospice Care
Hospice care concentrates on the management of pain and the comfort of your loved one at the end of life. Hospice is available anywhere, including a nursing home. Hospice offers family support during and after the dying process. Stop hospice care at any time if you so choose.

Family Issues
Your family may have difficulty,,,,read all of When to Stop Treatment for Advanced Dementia Patients

1 comment:

agemattersclinic said...

Dementia patients have specific needs and challenges that must be fulfilled by caregivers.

Dementia specialist