Do you have a parent or other loved one struggling with Alzheimer’s disease? Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurological condition that affects memory and cognitive skills. This makes it difficult for patients to care for themselves as they age.
If you have a parent who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, consider these five care options for Alzheimer’s patients:
1. In-Home Care
In-home care is one of the best care options for Alzheimer’s patients because it allows them to remain in the comfort of their own homes while receiving the assistance that they need. These services help the patient feel more comfortable while also assisting other caregivers who provide care for the patient.
In-home care encompasses a selection of services that are provided in the home, instead of in a hospital setting or care community.
Personal in-home care services assist with everyday basic needs like bathing, dressing, toileting, and eating. Personal care is often necessary in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease, when patients struggle to perform these aspects of daily life on their own.
Companion services are a type of home care that provides supervision for recreational activities or visits. These services arrange for a trained professional to accompany your loved one when leaving the home, allowing them to remain safe and cared for when navigating the world with Alzheimer’s.
Homemaker care options help support the patient’s everyday home life by helping with shopping, meal preparation, and housekeeping. Homemaker services are ideal for Alzheimer’s patients who are in the earlier stages of the disease and need some assistance with errands or activities.
Skilled care services send professionals to the home to specifically tend to medical needs. This can include wound care, physical therapy, injections, and other medical treatments. With skilled care, a home health care agency coordinates with the patient’s physician to provide the services they need.
2. Adult Day Centers
A common concern for patients with Alzheimer’s is social isolation. Adult day centers combat this by creating a safe environment for patients with cognitive decline and other conditions.
In an adult day center, older adults are able to interact with their peers and participate in group activities. This is a benefit to both the patient and daily caregiver, as it provides a break from the usual everyday assistance.
Adult day centers can provide the following services for senior adults:
- Health services
- Personal care
- Behavioral management
- Special needs
Adult day centers are great care options for Alzheimer’s patients because they can help ease certain symptoms of the disease. Many patients struggle with social isolation and have a positive response to certain activities and interacting with peers. Others may need time to adjust, as the day center is a different place from their home.
3. Long-Term Care
Sometimes, a person with Alzheimer’s disease requires more extensive, ongoing care than can be provided at home. They may benefit from long-term care options for Alzheimer’s patients.
Long-term care options refer to living environments where the patient resides in a facility or hospital setting with other senior adults. Skilled nursing professionals and caretakers are on-site 24 hours a day to provide assistance with basic needs and other services. Long-term care options generally include:
Nursing homes are one of the leading long-term care options for Alzheimer’s patients. In a nursing home, around-the-clock care and medical treatment help patients have a better quality of life. At most nursing homes, nutrition, recreation, spirituality, and medical services are provided.
There are experienced staff members available at all times to give residents the assistance they need, and these staff members bring expertise and skill to the patients’ care. Nursing homes are also regulated by the federal government and licensed by the state.
Retirement housing is a good option for patients in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s. In a retirement community, residents live on their own, but can have access to care as they need it. These patients can still perform many daily activities independently, but require a gradual increase in care as the disease progresses.
Assisted living is often referred to as the step between retirement housing and a nursing home. Assisted living facilities suit Alzheimer’s patients who are in the middle stages of the disease. They may need daily assistance with things like meals, bathing, and certain medical concerns.
Assisted living homes are not regulated by the federal government, and their licensing can vary from state to state. Not all assisted living communities work with Alzheimer’s patients, so you will need to inquire about this before moving your loved one into one of these homes.
Memory Care Units
Also called Alzheimer’s special care units (ASCUs), memory care units are specifically designed to work with Alzheimer’s patients. These facilities include assisted living homes that care for Alzheimer’s patients and specialty units that work only with Alzheimer’s patients.
Memory care units may be secured units that keep patients with severe symptoms in a specific area of the facility for their safety.
4. Hospice Care
It is important to remember that Alzheimer’s is a progressive condition. When patients reach the end stages of Alzheimer’s, they struggle with more severe symptoms that ultimately result in mortality.
One of the care options for Alzheimer’s patients in these difficult stages of the disease is hospice care. Hospice is designed to make patients with terminal conditions comfortable during this time.
Hospice care can provide medical assistance to alleviate symptoms, grief support for family members, and spiritual counseling. If your loved one is in need of hospice care, they can receive services in-home or at a hospice facility.
5. Respite Care
Respite care is a service for senior adults that allows their usual caretaker to take a break from providing daily care. With respite care, a skilled professional may come to the home, or your loved one may remain at a facility for several hours.
This allows the caregiver to take the time they need to tend to their family or personal needs. Respite care is helpful for those who take care of a patient in the middle to later stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Finding Care Options for Alzheimer’s Patients
If your parent is suffering from the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, they may be in need of certain care services. Determining the best fit for your loved one depends on various factors, such as the level of care required.
No matter your parent’s needs, there are options that can ensure their quality of life as they live with Alzheimer’s disease.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.