Primary Care of the Older Adult with End-Stage Alzheimer's Disease

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End-of-life care is siowly being recognized as a dimension of primary care. Although terminal care programs have been established largely in response to the needs of cancer and AIDS patients, few clinical guidelines exist for end-of-life care in other diagnostic categories. Hospice philosophy and the palliative care literature provide the grounds for designing primary care approaches for a variety of noncancer, terminally ill patients. A growing need for hospice/paillative care exists for end-stage Aizheimer's patients. This articie describes end-stage Aizhelmer's disease and proposes ways a primary care provider may participate in the terminal care process. A patient education handout discussing end-stage Alzheimer's disease issues and providing family resources is presented.

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