home-based palliative care

Home-based palliative care for dementia

Home-based palliative care for Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias is a phrase that refers to medical as well as non-medical interventions and support provided in the patient’s home. It is designed to meet the needs of people with these conditions, their family members and caregivers.  Some of the many benefits for home-based palliative care for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are provided below:

Increased comfort

An important aspect of home-based palliative care is the comfort and familiarity of a patient’s home. In many cases, patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias will be able to recover some or most of their memory capacity if they are in familiar surroundings, which can decrease anxiety and enhance a sense of security. 

This helps to boost self-esteem and quality of life for both the patient and his or her family members. Additionally, when people are surrounded by things that bring back memories from better times (such as photos), it can help them communicate more easily, eat more naturally and even walk more confidently around their own homes.

Early intervention

Early intervention is important for many neurological diseases. At the beginning stages of a disease, it is possible to improve quality of life and make treatment more effective. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition that eventually leads to death, so early intervention can be helpful in treating this illness as well. There are many benefits to early intervention such as better outcomes and increased awareness with home-based palliative care.

Proactive care planning

A key element of home-based palliative care is proactive planning. This involves assessing the patient’s long term needs and creating an individualized plan that will meet these needs as well as possible. Care plans should be reviewed every six months to ensure that they continue to meet the evolving needs of both the patient and his or her family members. 

Family members should be involved in this process so that they can learn about available resources and provide feedback on how well the plan is working for them or if it is not. Family members and caregivers are an important part of the home-based palliative care team.

Individualized pain management

When you’re providing home care for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, the focus should be on the individual and his or her needs. When pain management is a priority, this means using a variety of techniques and including family members in the plan.These are key elements that should be factored into your home-based palliative care program.

The first step is defining what “pain” means — are they in physical discomfort? Do they feel anxious? Are they frustrated when they try to express their thoughts and feelings? If possible, have a conversation with them about what bothers them most. Controlling discomfort should be a focal point of your individualized home-based palliative care program.

Once you’ve identified that problem area, start brainstorming ways to address it. Can you find an alternate activity for them so that staying up late doesn’t become such an issue? Would it help if there were more structure around meal times so he knows exactly when food will come out rather than relying on himself. Remember that everyone’s goal isn’t always going through life without pain ,sometimes people want comfort above all else.

Minimal interruption of daily schedule and routines

One of the most important goals for people with Alzheimer’s is to maintain their daily routines. This goal is especially important for those who live at home, since they may have more difficulty adjusting to change than a patient in an assisted living facility. In addition to reducing stress, maintaining familiar surroundings and routines can help reduce confusion and agitation.

Home-based palliative care allows you to keep your loved one’s home environment familiar and safe while also providing assistance with tasks such as bathing and grooming, meal preparation and cooking, medication management and monitoring (including keeping track of dosages), laundry services (if needed) as well as other personal care services including assistance with dressing or undressing if needed. The home-based palliative care program can build a plan around their daily routine that the patient will get the most benefit.

Other home-based palliative care services

Spiritual care –  It is an important part of the home-based palliative care plan, and can help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.Spiritual care involves helping patients, family members and caregivers cope with the emotional, social and spiritual aspects of a serious illness.

Emotional care –  Home-based palliative care offers more time for the family to spend with their loved one and more opportunities to provide emotional and psychological support, which is often very important in the later stages of the disease.

Home care – Programs can provide additional services to support daily living tasks such as cooking meals, cleaning and shopping. This can also include help with activities such as going out and socializing. While the services will vary based on the home-based palliative care program, it is worth exploring to see what is being offered.

Family involvement

The home care setting allows families, who are usually the primary caregivers, to be involved in care planning and decision making. This may include how often a loved one receives treatment or how long they will stay in the hospital. The great thing about home-based palliative care is that the family and caregivers are an integral part of the team to ensure that goals are being met.

Family members and caregivers can also be involved in providing care for their loved ones. They may help with personal hygiene tasks such as bathing, grooming, dressing and feeding their family members; provide medication reminders, coordinate transportation to medical appointments, assist with physical therapy exercises (if appropriate) and prepare meals that meet the needs of the patient. Additionally, family members may be asked to help with financial matters, keep accurate progress notes and coordinate healthcare services. 

This type of involvement provides valuable feedback about whether or not the treatment plan is working well enough for patients’ comfort level. Being a part of the home-based palliative care team is beneficial to ensure that your loved one gets the best care possible


Home-based palliative care can also have positive outcomes for the family and informal caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease, who are frequently in a position of providing support to their loved ones.

  • Caregivers are able to continue providing care at home instead of needing to move their loved one into a long-term facility. This means that patients can remain living in familiar surroundings with access to their families, friends, pets and familiar daily routines.
  • Caregivers experience less stress and anxiety as they help their loved one through difficult stages of the disease, particularly during periods where they need more help with everyday tasks or medical problems that arise due to the illness (e.g., infections).
  • Patients experience less pain or other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting due to medications prescribed by palliative care teams (or omitted altogether). This means they may be able to sleep better at night – potentially reducing agitation caused by lack of restful sleep over time.

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