November is a month that spreads awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible and progressive brain disorder that destroys memory and other important mental functions from problem-solving skills, and simple tasks to determining time or place, vision loss, and much more. This is a chronic disease, meaning it can last for years or can be lifelong – although symptoms typically appear in an individual’s mid-60’s.

There is no cure for the disease, meaning patients will only need more support as time continues. One such option is palliative care for the sufferer.  The World Health Organization (WHO) defines palliative care as “applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life.”

Available palliative care is specialized for individuals facing chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s, making it incredibly beneficial to not only the patient but as well as the family.  The earlier the start to palliative care after diagnosis, the better! Palliative care can be beneficial because it allows for the patient to have a routine, help manage their symptoms, and can provide relief to the family to have an extra support system in place for their loved one. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, but focusing on the safety, well-being, and comfort of the patient can allow for a longer sustainable life living with the disease.

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Understanding and addressing the needs of those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s is an essential aspect of palliative care. Become a member of The American Academy of Bereavement today to find more resources on long term care for those with chronic or terminal illness.