Is your senior loved one starting to exhibit advanced symptoms of Alzheimer's dementia? It might be time to start switching the primary focus of his or her treatment from memory care , which is primarily concerned with life and memory preservation, to palliative care , which is mostly centered on quality-of-life improvement and pain control.

Many people first hear the term " palliative care " paired with "hospice," and they naturally think that the words are interchangeable. Although they're similar in many respects, they are not exactly the same. Today, let's talk about the differences between the two.

Palliative Care

People with acute, debilitating, palliative care, but it is not intended as an end-of-life care measure . Palliative care is symptom mitigation. It typically includes a significant amount of closely monitored pain management.

The differences between palliative care and hospice

As you can see, all of the care measures are our hypothetical patient. A senior with terminal-stage Alzheimer's might be unable to breathe without assistance, might be in severe pain, could exhibit behavioral outbursts indicative of severe stress or depression, and so on.

Memory care, at that point, is unnecessary. The focus should shift to making that loved one more comfortable and ease his or her transition. That's where hospice begins.It's only offered to patients who have been certified by a qualified, technician as "terminally ill."

Hospice care includes all of the palliative care measures discussed above. It might consist of some steps that are usually found in memory care, too – say, music or art therapy – but, in this case, they are employed as stress-reducing, comfort-promoting measures, rather than as cognitive therapies.

Hospice can be rendered wherever you choose

Retirement community residents often receive hospice care services while remaining in their apartment. Some patients might even briefly receive hospice care in hospital care if the end is very near and transport would place undue pain or stress on the patient or the family. 

Hospice Care Services

Hospice care is typically covered by Medicare's hospice benefit, by Medicaid, provides interdisciplinary palliative care to residents who need it, particularly to those with moderate-to-end-stage chronic diseases, or to those who are undergoing extended skilled nursing or short-term rehabilitation care while living here.