When Should an Alzheimer’s Patient Be Admitted Into Hospice Care?


Alzheimer’s disease is a brain illness that gradually impairs thinking and memory abilities and the capacity to do even the most basic daily tasks. More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementias. Symptoms of the late-onset variety typically begin to show in most patients by their mid-60s. For older adults, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. When a family member is diagnosed with any terminal disease, it can be overwhelming and confusing for the entire family. Because there is no cure for the disease, you may feel that admitting a relative to Los Angeles hospice or palliative care may be the right decision to have a comfortable final chapter of their life. But at what stage of the disease does a patient qualify for end-of-life care? This is an excellent question.

Los Angeles hospice care providers look at these signs when determining if an Alzheimer’s patient needs to be admitted into hospice

Individuals with Alzheimer’s must exhibit the majority of these characteristics to be admitted into hospice care in Los Angeles:

  • Be unable to walk without support.
  • Require assistance to get dressed.
  • Not able to adequately bathe on their own.
  • Have trouble swallowing or choking on food or drinks.
  • Experience dehydration or weight loss due to difficulties with eating or drinking.
  • Unable to sit properly without armrests on chairs or risking falling off and needing to use special chairs.
  • Have speech confined to a few understandable, distinct words; speak less than six words daily.
  • Have problems controlling their bladder and bowel.
  • Not be able to smile.
  • Have a life expectancy of 6 months or less.

Memory lapses, such as losing things or having problems remembering names or words, are common in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. While they may still be able to work alone during this stage, they will find it harder and harder to prepare and stay organized. The person will require more intensive care as they reach the middle stages of the disease. As it progresses, the person begins to become increasingly confused and suffers from more severe memory loss at this point. They can have trouble recalling names as well as important dates and locations. Some people going through this stage might need assistance remembering to dress appropriately for the weather. Both sleep habits and personality traits will alter due to the disease. This phase usually lasts the longest, as long as years. The average person will live between four to eight years following their Alzheimer’s diagnosis, but the disease can progress faster if the individual is in their 80s or older.

Put Your Faith in Faith & Hope Hospice

It can be difficult for family members to identify when a patient qualifies for hospice care due to the slow progression of dementia. This is why it’s essential not to delay and seek answers as soon as possible. Doing this can prepare a strategy in case the Los Angeles hospice qualifying requirements for dementia are satisfied. We want to be the ones to answer your call. Our mission is to provide an improved quality of life for patients with end-stage Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Please contact our Los Angeles hospice and palliative care team today by calling our office or via email.