End-of-Life Care and Support Services for Patients Suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Dementia is a general term for loss and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain, Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia followed by vascular dementia, however, there are  over 400 different types of Dementias.

Patients will be considered to be in the terminal stage of dementia (life expectancy of six months or less) if they meet the following criteria.

hospice care fro alzheimers and dementia patients san diego
  • Stage seven or beyond according to the Functional Assessment Staging Scale;
  • Unable to ambulate without assistance;
  • Unable to dress without assistance;
  • Unable to bathe without assistance;
  • Urinary and fecal incontinence, intermittent or constant;
  • No consistently meaningful verbal communication: stereotypical phrases only or the ability to speak is limited to six or fewer intelligible words.

In addition, patient should have had one of the following within the previous 12 months:

  • Aspiration pneumonia;
  • Pyelonephritis;
  • Septicemia;
  • Decubitus ulcers, multiple, stage 3-4;
  • Fever, recurrent after antibiotics;
  • Inability to maintain sufficient fluid and calorie intake with 10% weight loss during the previous six months or serum albumin < 2.5 gm/dl.

Note: The above description is specific for Alzheimer’s disease and Related Disorders, and is not appropriate for other types of dementia.

If you are reading this, it is likely you or someone you love has been waging a difficult physical and emotional battle against Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Aria Hospice is ready to assist those in the end stages of dementia, by relieving pain, controlling symptoms, improving quality of life and reducing anxiety and worry for patients’ families.

Aria Hospice meets the unique needs of patients with dementia who wish to remain wherever they live: in their home, assisted living or independent living facilities as well in skilled nursing facilities.

When to call Aria Hospice for Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

Considering the slow decline of a patient with dementia, it can be difficult to determine when the time is right for hospice. In general, hospice patients are thought to have six months or less to live. Only a doctor can make a clinical determination of life expectancy.

Making decisions about end-of-life care is difficult for patients stricken with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other cognitive impairments. The ever-changing roller coaster of emotions and feelings of uncertainty, as well as the complexity of care and support options available, makes it challenging to choose the best course of action for you and your family. The good news is that quality hospice care and palliative care services are available through Aria Hospice. We offer comprehensive symptom management along with end-of-life care that patients with cognitive impairment and their families need

When is it time to discuss hospice care for a patient with Dementia?

Hospice care for dementia patients is often described as an approach that treats the patient, not the disease. The goal of hospice is to make the patient as comfortable, safe and as symptom free as possible.  At Aria Hospice we recognize the courage it takes to help a loved one who is suffering from a chronic illness like Alzheimer’s or dementia. We also understand the physical and emotional stress it places on you to care for this loved one.

Aria Hospice provides comprehensive hospice care and support services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through our compassionate, experienced and well-trained interdisciplinary team of hospice nurses, home health aides, homemakers, hospice social workers, therapists, bereavement counselors, spiritual counselors and volunteers. Aria Hospice always put patients and families first and strives to make every interaction with you and your loved one more meaningful.

Aria Hospice recognizes the emotional toll and immense courage it takes to help a loved one who is suffering from a chronic illness like Alzheimer’s disease.

Call Aria Hospice today to see if hospice care is an appropriate option.

Benefits of Aria Hospice Care for Dementia Patients

The Aria Hospice team continuously evaluates the patient’s condition and symptoms with the goal of finding the best treatment and individualized plan of care for the patient as well as support for the patient’s family. The goal of Aria Hospice is to treat pain and other symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia and relieve the physical and emotional stress to ensure the greatest level of comfort for our patients and their families.

The benefits of Aria Hospice Care for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients include:

Pain Management Patients with Alzheimer’s and Dementia  often experience pain caused by the progression of the disease and are unable to voice the pain level. Aria Hospice Team provides comfort care which focuses on relieving pain and maintaining comfort.

Symptom Control – Aria Hospice Care Team regularly assesses each patient’s condition and works with the physician to determine the most effective treatment and medication options to maximize symptom control.

Hospice Care at Home –  The goal of hospice care is to support patients by meeting their needs and managing their care at home – wherever they may call home, using a holistic approach that includes hospice massages and emotional and spiritual approaches.

Coordinated Care Approach – Hospice care is a team effort. The patient’s family and loved ones are actively involved together with a team of Aria Hospice professionals. With the help and support of the hospice care team, the patient and their family can attain physical, emotional, and spiritual preparedness for the end of life

We Listen. We Care. We Serve.

When you are faced with the challenge of finding a hospice provider to help care for the emotional and physical well being of someone you love, maybe your mom or dad, you will be faced with many questions.

Making the decision about hospice care for a loved one is never easy, but finding the right answers can help you feel more comfortable with the options available and confident in your final decision.

Aria Hospice operates hospice care programs throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties in Southern California. We pride ourselves on being one of the areas leading providers of end-of-life care.


Our Hospice Care Specialists are Here to Help

Call Us Today for Answers to End-of-Life Questions.


Anyone diagnosed with a limited life expectancy can receive Aria Hospice care.

Once a physician certifies that an illness is terminal, (a life expectancy of six months or less), they will collaborate with the Aria Hospice team for services, tailored to the needs and wishes of the patient.

Many patients have cancer, but Aria Hospice cares for individuals with many other life-limiting illness, including heart and lung disease, kidney disease, neurological disorders, stroke, Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Family and friends also receive the benefit of hospice care, to help them support the patient and adapt to changes in their lives.

Many people mistakenly believe that all hospice patients are bed-bound, critically ill, and unable to continue living life to the fullest. Hospice celebrates life and supports you in achieving your individual needs in this chapter of your life.

Contact our Admission Coordinator at Aria Hospice in San Diego County or Imperial County with any questions you may have about hospice care or eligibility.

who can receive hospice care


After receiving a diagnosis for limited life expectancy, patients must make an important choice about goals for their treatment.

why choose aria hospice care

When a physician determines that there is no curative treatment for a particular illness, the treatment is not helping any longer or you decide that the side effects of treatment are too great, you may consider choosing comfort care as your ultimate goal.

Aggressive medical treatment focuses on curing the physical illness rather than satisfying the patient’s emotional and spiritual needs. It often requires intensive care in a clinical setting that can diminish quality of life. Hospice care has the focus of comfort, by relieving pain and other symptoms, while continuing to address emotional and spiritual needs of both the patient and family.

Hospice care neither prolongs life nor hastens death, but relieves pain and physical discomfort so that the patient can experience a more peaceful and satisfying quality of life. At Aria Hospice, care is designed to primarily take place in the home or place of residence. Many families tell us that they waited too long to take full advantage of all the benefits offered by hospice care.


Our Team is Here to Help!

We are one of Southern California’s premier providers of end-of-life care. Click the button below to Request Information or call (619) 795-6010 to learn how hospice care can help.