What Is Parkinson’s Disease and How Can Hospice Help?


What Is Parkinson’s Disease and How Can Hospice Help?

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by the loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. In the early phases of Parkinson’s disease, patients experience tremors, loss of balance, muscle stiffness, and slowed movement. As the disease advances, it will ultimately reach its terminal phase. This condition will become incapacitating gradually.

Parkinson’s Disease: When Should Hospice Care Be Considered?

When living with Parkinson’s, it can be challenging to determine when hospice care is necessary due to the disease’s protracted progression and the variety of symptoms each patient may experience. At the end phases of the disease, however, patients will exhibit signs mentioned below that indicate it is time to seek hospice care:

1. Decreased mobility, speech, and participation in activities of daily living (ADL) such as bathing, walking, meal preparation, and consumption. They may spend more time confined to a chair or bed or be entirely confined to a bed or a wheelchair.

2. Experiencing the final phases of Parkinson’s disease symptoms

I. Even at repose, respiratory difficulty

ii. Inability to consume or drink enough, accompanied by weight loss

iii. Additional complications include pneumonia, sepsis, pyelonephritis, decubitus ulcers, or other comorbidities.

3. Have been given a prognosis of six months or less by a physician

How Hospice Helps Parkinson’s Disease Patients

During the final phases of Parkinson’s disease, medications and treatments are typically ineffective at controlling symptoms. When this occurs, hospice care can provide the patient and their loved ones with care and support. Care is administered in the individual’s residence, be it a private residence, an assisted living or skilled nursing facility, or a hospital.

Hospice Services of Melodia Hospice Care Benefits

  • Manages pain, symptoms, and anxiety associated with end-stage Parkinson’s to enhance the patient’s and family’s quality of life.
  • Offers both emotional and spiritual care, providing a holistic approach to care.
  • 24/7 clinical team support, including evenings, weekends, and holidays
  • Offers education and assistance to family caregivers
  • Makes arrangements for delivering additional medications, supplies, and apparatus associated with the hospice diagnosis.
  • Care is coordinated with all of the patient’s healthcare providers.
  • Assists in documenting a healthcare plan for the future
  • Exclusively available to our patients, its home-like inpatient hospice care centers provide continuity of care if pain and symptoms cannot be managed in a residential setting.
  • Offers ongoing care and support for bereaved family members

How Much Does Hospice Care Cost?

Under the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicare pays for hospice care. Under this benefit, all hospice-related care, medications, and medical supplies are entirely covered. Medicare covers care for months, not just the final weeks of life.

Medicaid and the majority of private insurance also offer hospice coverage. Melodia Hospice Care never denies care to patients without Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance based on their capacity to pay.

What Do I Need to Do to Receive Hospice Care?

There are numerous simple ways to initiate the procedure. The best and easy way is to discuss hospice care with your physician. Moreover, you can refer yourself or a loved one by completing our online referral form. If it is not yet time for hospice care, our experts may recommend palliative care service, which manages pain and symptoms for individuals with advanced illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease.

Is It Time to Think About Hospice Care for Parkinson’s?

People with Parkinson’s disease experience the five Hoehn and Yahr stages uniquely. This sluggish and unpredictable path may delay discussions about end-of-life care. Early dialogues allow family members and physicians to comprehend a patient’s wishes and plan for the highest possible quality of life until the end.

What Can Hospice Criteria for End-Stage Parkinson’s Disease Include?

Hospice criteria for advanced Parkinson’s disease can include the following:

  • Severe respiratory impairment, including the need for supplemental oxygen at rest.
  • Progressing to a wheelchair or bedridden
  • Unintelligible language
  • Incapacity to perform the activities of daily living independently
  • Inability to consume or drink enough, resulting in persistent weight loss
  • Aspiration pneumonia, peritonitis, and stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers are examples of complications.
  • To qualify for hospice benefits under Medicare (CMS) guidelines, a physician must certify that a patient has less than six months to live.

Medicare and many other insurance plans cover hospice care costs—the provision of free medications, medical apparatus, and supplies related to a terminal illness. A person can receive care at home, in a nursing home, or wherever they call home.

Planning End-Stage Hospice Care for Parkinson’s Disease

Early-stage Parkinson’s disease patients can convey their preferences for care through advanced care planning. Before a medical emergency, questions about diet tubes and resuscitation can be addressed. Essential documents for direct care planning in advance include a living will and a form for a health care representative. The hospice team can assist in reviewing these documents with the patient and family and answering questions as you navigate them to ensure that the care objectives are clear and under the patient’s wishes.

There are many factors to consider when dealing with advanced Parkinson’s disease. We can assist you during this difficult time. Call us at 1- 888 635-6347 for more information on simplifying this time for patients and their families.

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