Vasular Dementia Hospice Criteria

Vasular Dementia Hospice Criteria

Vascular dementia is a type of dementia that occurs due to reduced cerebral circulation, such as from a stroke or another blood vessel pathology. When a patient reaches the end stages of vascular dementia, hospice care may become an option.

Understanding whether there are specific cases in which Melodia Care Hospice accepts patients with vascular dementia is important, as many hospice services do have patient inclusion criteria. Hospice criteria for vascular dementia may include the following:

  1. Advanced Stage: Patients with vascular dementia in the terminal stage and an estimated life expectancy of six months or less are eligible for hospice care, based on the aforementioned symptoms of vascular dementia.
  2. Symptom Management: Melodia Hospice emphasizes the provision of essential comfort and optimization of the quality of life for patients with terminal illnesses. Patients with vascular dementia should be monitored to provide optimal symptom management, especially for issues such as pain, aggressiveness, and dysphagia.
  3. Caregiver Support: Hospice services extend beyond directly caring for the patient, as families are also often offered assistance by hospice programs. Currently, Melodia Care Hospice may offer caregiver training and respite care to help families cope with the challenges of caring for loved ones with vascular dementia.
  4. Palliative Approach: This model of care, called hospice care, focuses on providing comfort and improving quality of life, rather than a cure. This approach is particularly important for treating patients diagnosed with vascular dementia, as there is no known cure for the condition.

Vascular Dementia Hospice Eligibility Criteria

Hospice care typically requires a life expectancy of six months or less, which can be challenging to determine for dementia patients. Cognitive decline in dementia can begin suddenly, so a person with symptoms that impair their quality of life may become eligible for palliative or hospice care, even if their overall life expectancy with dementia is unknown. Patients with dementia may qualify for hospice care if they are unable to do any of the following:

  • Control bodily functions, including bladder and bowel functions 
  • Walk or move around without assistance 
  • Bathe themselves 
  • Get dressed without assistance 
  • Speak or communicate effectively, which in the case of dementia means being unable to use more than six intelligible words a day 

Dementia patients with certain associated diseases may also be eligible for end-of-life care. Some conditions that may lead to a life expectancy of 6 months or fewer for a dementia patient are congestive heart disease, strokes, renal insufficiency, liver disease, and cancer. Dementia patients who have had one of these related secondary conditions within the past 12 months are also eligible for hospice care if they have septicemia, recurrent infections (including upper respiratory infections, pyelonephritis, and pneumonia), multiple stages 3 to 4 decubitus ulcers, recurrent fever after taking antibiotics, or impaired nutritional status (defined as weight loss of 10% or more, a BMI of less than 22, or a serum albumin level under 3.1).

Managing Dementia Symptoms

Melodia Hospice Care develops an individualized interdisciplinary plan of care that incorporates essential vascular dementia hospice criteria to meet each patient’s specific needs. The team provides medical care to reduce symptoms such as pain and anxiety, as well as personal care to help caregivers maintain the patient’s dignity at the end of life.

The hospice benefit covers medication for the patient’s primary diagnosis and medical items, including incontinence products, hospital beds, and wheelchairs, at no cost to the patient or family. These supplies will be provided to the patient as needed, eliminating the need to visit the pharmacy or look up medical supply providers.

In addition, the team of emotional and spiritual support specialists educates and supports family caregivers. This includes having volunteers sit with the patient so that family members can take a break without worrying about the patient’s safety and assisting in organizing respite care. Professionals may also help families with end-of-life planning, funeral preparations, and grief care.

Melodia Hospice Care can work with a memory care unit or other long-term care facility to provide one-on-one care and attention to patients already receiving care. This includes offering complementary therapies and activities to enhance the patient’s clinical and personal care, such as reading or playing music, foot rubs, or aromatherapy.

Melodia Hospice Care can assess the patient in their home context (home, hospital, assisted living facility, etc.) to see if they meet the hospice care standards for dementia. We are pleased to meet with families at a time and location that is convenient for them.

To schedule a hospice consultation, please call us at 1-888-635-6347. Our crew is accessible 24 hours a day to take your call.