Palliative Care For Dementia: What It Means and Simple Home Aides
Palliative Care For Dementia: What It Means and Simple Home Aids
Palliative care is a care approach that improves the quality of life for both people living with chronic illnesses and their families.
It prevents suffering through the identification and treatment of pain and other problems, whether physical or psychological, providing relief from symptoms and alleviating the stress of the illness.
Today we take a closer look at palliative care, what it means for your loved one living with dementia, and why you should adopt it as part of your care plan.
- What palliative care means for a loved one living with dementia
- Common misconceptions about palliative care
- Tech aids that will make caring for your loved one easier
What Is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is a form of care delivery for people living with chronic illnesses. However, it’s also much more than that—it represents a shift in care delivery as it seeks to provide care beyond symptom relief.
The palliative care approach aims to alleviate pain and other issues brought on by chronic illness, whether it be physical, psychosocial, psychological or spiritual. As such, care is provided by a collaborative team of professionals who work together to deliver medical, emotional, social, and practical support to you and your loved one.
A typical palliative care team can include:
- Social workers
Of course, the team may vary based on a loved one’s individual needs and level of care.
Note: Palliative care is offered alongside a patient’s curative and other treatments. It’s meant to enhance a person’s existing care by focusing on quality of life for both them and their family.
Related: Making Your Home Dementia Friendly
What to Expect During Your First Palliative Care Appointment for Dementia
During your first consultation, the palliative care team will discuss your loved one’s symptoms, current treatments, and how the illness affects their daily life.
The team will then chart the best plan for moving forward. They will determine how to execute this plan with the support of your primary care team in a way that works with existing treatments.
Remember, palliative care is accessible at any stage of dementia. It helps manage the symptoms and addresses the concerns that matter most to you and your elderly loved one.
You may want to consider palliative care when you have concerns about:
- What to expect from a care plan and how to customise it to your loved one’s needs
- What resources and systems are available to support you and your loved one
- Making decisions that align with your loved one’s personal values and goals
Expert Tip: Early use of palliative care can drastically improve the quality of life of your loved one. It decreases anxiety and depression and can extend life expectancy.
How Palliative Care For Dementia Works
Your loved one’s care plan will be designed to suit their lifestyle and needs. The care plan will include elements such as:
- Advice and support: Includes medical advice and referrals to other care practitioners and support—whether medical, emotional, or otherwise—for both you and your loved one throughout care.
- Symptom management: Includes strategies to address symptoms and improve overall well-being, all while addressing any questions or concerns you might have.
- Supportive care: Care techniques that improve your loved one’s comfort and well-being, and includes activities like breathing exercises, visualisation, and music therapy.
- Advance care planning: Your loved one’s palliative provider will help you discuss your goals and wishes for care. This information can then be used to establish a living will, advance directive, and even power of attorney.
Studies have shown that palliative care significantly improves the quality of life for people living with dementia. Improve your loved one’s care by adopting palliative care as early as possible after diagnosis.
How Palliative Care For Dementia Works
Often, people with dementia and their loved ones put off finding palliative care because they mistakenly think it means the same thing as hospice care. But palliative care and hospice are NOT the same.
While both follow a similar overarching care philosophy, palliative and hospice care are distinctly different services.
Palliative care operates alongside other curative and life-extending treatments. But in hospice care, a patient stops such treatments and receives symptom relief only.
Additionally, palliative care is available to anyone at any age with a chronic illness. Palliative care is not exclusively meant for people approaching end-of-life. People with dementia will benefit from palliative care long before they qualify for hospice care.
Here’s a quick table comparing palliative and hospice care for more clarity:
|Palliative Care||Hospice Care|
|Eligibility||Anyone with a chronic illness||Anyone with a terminal illness and life expectancy of less than a six months|
|Curative treatments||Yes||Only symptom relief provided|
|Location of care|
Support Your Loved One’s Care Using Tech
Beyond the support provided by a palliative care team, at TechSilver, we believe that technology is one of the best ways to support your loved one living with dementia.
With the right tech, your loved one can maintain their autonomy and live a full life whilst still getting the support they need. Technology also allows you to have peace of mind as it enables you to monitor your loved one and intervene should the need arise.
Here are our top three tech aids for supporting a loved one and their care team:
Waterproof Dementia Tracker GPS Keyring
We designed this Waterproof Dementia Tracker GPS Keyring specifically for older people living with dementia.
Did you know? Most trackers on the market are ugly and painfully obvious.
As such, loved ones living with dementia aren’t usually too keen on wearing them when they leave the house—which defeats the purpose of having a GPS tracker altogether.
But that’s not the case with our discreet GPS tracker, which we’ve designed to be subtly added to a set of keys or worn as a lanyard (with an all black, understated design).
That said, a sleek design is not all that sets our GPS tracker apart. It also comes with a host of helpful features, including:
- A free smartphone tracking app
- Average 10-22 days of battery life
- Customisable location updates
- Clear two-way SOS calling
We also offer a 30-day trial period with free returns and a 100% refund, giving you ample time to try out the tracker and its associated resources.
“Bought the GPS keyring for my mother. So far, it’s been accurate and does everything it says.”
— Karen T | ★★★★★
Canary Elderly Monitoring System
The Canary Elderly Monitoring System combines advanced sensor technology with a monitoring system that doesn’t compromise your loved one’s privacy or dignity.
It monitors and informs you about changes and movements in your loved one’s house, and helps:
- Prevent trips, slips, and falls
- Prevent dementia-induced wandering
- Ensure ideal ambient temperatures
- Ensure your loved one takes their medication
- Check that carers came and left on time
The system works through discrete sensors, which you place around the home. These sensors will relay information directly to your phone or an online dashboard, allowing you to make decisions and intervene if there’s a problem.
In short, the Canary Elderly Monitoring System allows your parent or loved one to live independently in their home for as long as possible.
Extra Simple Dementia Mobile Phone
This Extra Simple Dementia Mobile Phone is yet another great tech aid for a loved one living with dementia. It features a simplified design with large buttons that make it very easy to contact up to three pre-programmed contacts at the press of a button.
Additionally, the phone serves as an emergency tracker you can use to find your loved one in case of an emergency. Some of the phone’s key features are:
- Three programmable quick dial buttons
- An assistive SOS button on the back
- Its dust and water-resistant construction
- GPS tracking with a companion app
At TechSilver, we believe technology is key to improving the quality of life for our loved ones with dementia. We strive to provide the best dementia support tech aids to keep your loved ones safe and independent for as long as possible.
But beyond the tech, we also offer world-class services to complement our tech aids and guides to better prepare you and your loved one’s care team in the event of wandering.
After all, the point of palliative care, and our tech aids, is to allow your loved one to live as independently as they can, while they can. But with progressive dementia, wandering can still happen sometimes, and this guide prepares you to deal with it quickly and safely.
“… the customer service was the best I’ve ever experienced … the set-up was pretty much automatic … can’t thank everyone at TechSilver enough.”
— Paul B. | ★★★★★
Frequently Asked Questions
How is palliative care different from the care my loved one is getting now?
Palliative care can be provided alongside your loved one’s existing treatment and care. A palliative care team works with your loved one’s doctors and others to provide a specialised care plan.
Does palliative care mean my loved one is dying?
No. Palliative care is meant to relieve the symptoms of a chronic illness and reduce stress for the patient and their family. You can start palliative care at any time after diagnosis with a chronic illness.
Where can we get palliative care?
Palliative care is offered in hospitals, nursing homes, specialised care clinics, or at home.
To find palliative care in your area, speak to your loved one’s primary care physician.
Hi, I'm Miles
I’m the founder of TechSilver, the world’s leading assistive tech specialists. My team has made these resources to help people care for their loved ones, so we hope we can help you today!
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