To see someone dear to you face the end of life is always challenging. Figuring out health care options can feel confusing and overwhelming, and when you’re grappling with difficult choices and trying to maintain stability in your own life during a time of crisis, it can feel nearly impossible to find time to just sit down and breathe.
It’s never easy when someone you love is diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a disease that affects not only the person diagnosed; it affects everyone around them and it’s easy to feel hopeless at times.
In the late 1950s, Dr. Cicely Saunders decided to devote a significant portion of her practice toward individuals suffering from chronic and life-threatening diseases, based on careful observation of her patients. She advocated that only a specialized, interdisciplinary team could relieve the “total pain” of a patient. This team concept is still at the very core of Palliative care.
These days, more and more Seniors are choosing to age at home rather than move into a nursing facility. It used to be common practice to abandon cherished homes in order to move into assisted living or nursing homes where people often feel anonymous and isolated from their outside lives.
It used to be common practice and even an expectation that Seniors would eventually leave their homes and move into assisted living or nursing home facilities. However, with the myriad of resources and home health care services available today, many Seniors are choosing to stay in their homes, where they feel most comfortable and independent.
Working with Seniors who have Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other mental illnesses is as challenging as it is rewarding. To be able to provide care and companionship in a professional and compassionate manner for families affected by Dementia is a rare and special gift.