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Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can create numerous challenges for devoted caregivers and their families. Because the future can be unpredictable and dementia progresses at different rates for each person, dementia care authorities advise that it is important to begin planning early for end-of-life care.
Stacey Houseknecht, NHA, CTRS, ADC, Wellness Coordinator/Administrator at Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr, located in Bryn Mawr, PA, says, “Although end-of-life care for a loved one with dementia is a highly emotional topic and one of the most difficult tasks caregivers face, it is nonetheless very important to consider and prepare for.
“When a loved one nears the end of their life, they will be unable to make critical decisions for themselves or express their personal preferences. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you begin planning for their end-of-life care while they are still capable of participating in the process. End-of-life decisions to be made may include ensuring that your loved one’s wishes are carried out, that they are kept as comfortable as possible and that their dignity is respected.”
To help guide your preparations for end-of-life care for your loved one, the Alzheimer’s Association® brochure, “End-of-Life Decisions,” and the National Institute on Aging article, “End-of-Life Care for People with Dementia,” offer several useful pointers that can make this difficult job more manageable. For example:
Impressions Memory Care also offers respite care services, which provide busy caregivers with some much-needed time off, while their loved ones receive compassionate care in a safe, professional setting.
Hospice care team members work collaboratively to provide physical, emotional and spiritual care for the loved one with dementia as well as their family. Because comfort is the primary goal, end-of-life specialists advise that if someone with dementia is already in a memory care community, they may want to stay there for their hospice care. Remaining in their familiar surroundings can make them more comfortable than having to go to the hospital unless it is deemed necessary.
Preparations for end-of-life care for a loved one with dementia are always hard – mentally, spiritually and emotionally. We hope that these useful pointers by end-of-life experts can make your task a bit less daunting.
Also, we invite you to read our timely articles on current caregiver and dementia care topics posted on our website.
If you have comments or questions about our blog on preparing for a loved one’s end-of-life care, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences in our comments section.
Loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments require specialized care and support. They also deserve a lifestyle rich in dignity and fulfillment. Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr provides residents with Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments that emphasize individual abilities, encourage socialization and promote the highest level of independence possible. We offer a complete continuum of leading-edge programs, services and amenities that address the total physical, emotional and social needs of residents in a caring setting that offers individual suites with large private baths and the comfort of home. Our memory care community touches hearts and changes lives.
Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory impairment doesn’t only affect the person who has it – it affects the entire family.
If you have a loved one with early- to mid-stage memory loss, you know how challenging it can be to provide the care that’s needed while trying to maintain balance in your life. As care needs increase, you may not be able to meet them physically or emotionally. It’s often difficult to be available to care for your loved one’s health and well-being around the clock.
If and when the time comes to seek additional help, place your trust in Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr. We lift the stresses and worries of being a caregiver from your shoulders, enabling you and your family to enjoy time with your loved one again.
Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.