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Promoting a better quality of life during late stages of dementia

Dementia is a cruel condition. It robs quality of life from a growing number of Americans each year. For family caregivers, Alzheimer’s and other dementias can be among the most difficult diseases to cope with. Dementias typically have a long path of decline, and slowly losing a loved one over an extended period can be especially difficult emotionally. In the later stages of the disease, patients with dementia require constant supervision, and caregivers can easily burn out.

People often think that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are terms for the same thing. However, dementia is not a specific disease. Dementia is a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think or make decisions that interfere with daily living.

Understanding Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60 to 70 percent of dementia cases, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The Alzheimer’s disease process is associated with plaques and deterioration in the brain. These factors cause the brain cell connections and the cells themselves to degenerate and die, destroying memory and other important mental functions.

An estimated 6.7 million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s in 2023. Not surprisingly, 73 percent are age 75 and older. By 2060, the number of Alzheimer’s disease cases in America is expected to grow to 14 million unless medical breakthroughs emerge to prevent or cure the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Specialized, compassionate care for patients with dementia

Caring for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease requires patience, compassion and a special kind of understanding.

Delaware Hospice is one provider who realizes that caring for dementia patients can benefit from skills in addition to their core expertise of caring for seriously or terminally ill people. In fact, their staff has more than 100 certified dementia practitioners (CDPs). This certification is from the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners and demonstrates a dedication to excellence in the field of memory care.

Recognizing the growing prevalence of dementia patients, Delaware Hospice has a goal to maintain 30 percent of their clinical staff as CDPs.

Delaware Hospice’s “Peace of Mind” dementia support program is designed to offer specialized care and support services that can significantly benefit people in the final stages of Alzheimer’s and other dementias – as well as their families.

“Our specialized focus on dementia care helps keep patients out of the hospital and in their homes or residential memory care centers, where they prefer to be,” said Andrew Himelstein, M.D., medical director for Delaware Hospice.

Learn more about how Delaware Hospice can provide a better quality of life for people in the final stages of dementia. Call 800.838.9800 or visit

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