Dementia is continuous deterioration of the brain and its function that progress slowly to a stage where brain completely stops working. Its symptom get worse over time and it’s required to make plans well in advance of a person’s condition is deteriorating. As it is an incurable illness, the person suffering from it definitely needs supportive care to live as well and as independent as possible. This is where palliative care for both the person suffering from dementia and his family members plays an important role.

Dementia symptoms

  • Fading memory
  • Impaired communication
  • Loss of hand-eye coordination
  • Deteriorating motor skills
  • Inability to do daily activities like dress and bathe
  • Lost recognition about hunger and thirst
  • Inability to feed and eat themselves

Palliative Care For Dementia

Palliative care for Dementia is specialized medical care provided by a team of physicians, nursing staff, social workers and caregivers. They are well-versed with all the techniques required to navigate the complex healthcare system.

Every person diagnosed with dementia should have a palliative care plan drawn up with the doctor as soon as possible. It should also include the end of life care plan. Moreover the plan should not only be for the person suffering from dementia but it should also provide some support for carers, who will be grieving around the time of death.

Goals Of Palliative Care For Dementia

  • Improve quality of life of patient as well his caregivers especially family
  • Assist and support families caring for a loved one with dementia
  • Setting up clear medical directions for all stages of disease
  • Managing pain, infections and other symptoms
  • Advising artificial techniques like feeding at stage where patient stops eating on their own
  • Preventing the patient from lung infections, pneumonia etc.
  • Facilitate in-depth communication and support between physician, patient and caregivers
  • Provide social care services and equipment for the home
  • Provide creative and complementary therapies and rehabilitation

Advantages Of Palliative Care For Dementia

  • Provides an extra layer of support to patient and family
  • Not only treats the patient but helps the family too
  • Stress reliever and valuable resource for family and caregivers who often face terrible stress on a 24/7 basis
  • Helping the family in making hard decisions like artificial feeding (through a tube to the stomach or through a vein)
  • Advising the family members on how to take care of themselves while taking care of the patient to avoid sickness, over-stressing and frustrations
  • Arrange for paid caregivers to help in the home
  • Makes patient more comfortable and less distressed
  • Greater family satisfaction with care