Health care providers throughout the United States are making a concerted effort to improve hospice care and palliative treatment in terminally ill patients with Alzheimer's disease. Palliative care is treatment designed to relieve or reduce the intensity of uncomfortable symptoms without trying to cure the underlying disease.
Palliative treatment may involve the use of medicines or surgery to control symptoms such as pain, nausea, and shortness of breath. The primary care doctor will help guide...
People with the disease may act anxious or get upset easily. When they're feeling this way, they may fidget, shout, throw things, or try to hit other people. To keep your loved one calm:
Keep their surroundings quiet. Background noise, like sounds from the TV, can upset or confuse him.
Settle into a routine. Changes in his environment or his daily routine, such as travel or visits from guests, can make him agitated.
Check for things that are physically bothering him. Pain, fatigue, or needing to use the restroom could make him unsettled or trigger an outburst.
Stay calm. If he gets upset or angry, don’t argue with him or criticize. Try to keep your voice calm and your emotions steady.
Bladder and Bowel Problems
People with Alzheimer's tend to have trouble controlling their bladder and bowels. That's especially true as the disease gets worse. To prevent and manage accidents:
Take your loved one to the restroom every few hours.
Be aware of signs he needs to go, including fidgeting and clutching clothing.
When you're away from home, know where the restrooms are.
Encourage him to drink less fluid close to bedtime.
It’s common for someone with Alzheimer’s to feel depressed, especially soon after he learns he has the disease. Antidepressant drugs may help. Other things also can make him less likely to get depressed, such as: