A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s is never welcome news.
The condition naturally presents challenges and concerns for an individual, but this can be a very stressful time for family, friends, and caregivers as well.
Many families lean toward the popular choice of long-term care facilities as a means to manage this difficult life chapter; however, today’s home care services offer high levels of support that allow seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s to remain living comfortably in their own homes.
In-home care provides a wide range of services taking place in an individual’s home instead of a hospital or care facility and familiar environments offer a great deal of security and peace of mind for people with dementia.
Types of in-home services
Like most healthcare services, not all in-home options are the same. Some provide non-medical assistance with such things as daily living tasks, while other services provide critical medical care from a licensed professional. Some of these services include:
- Companion services – Help with supervision, recreational activities or visiting with others
- Personal care services – Bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, exercising or other personal care
- Homemaker services – Housekeeping, shopping or meal preparation
- Skilled care – Assistance with wound care, injections, physical therapy and other medical needs by a licensed health professional
Benefits of in-home care for dementia patients
To help alleviate the considerable stress involved with debilitation dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnoses, in-home care offers many benefits including:
- Allowing a senior to remain living in a familiar and comfortable setting
- Ensuring the senior is safe at home or when involved with outside activities
- A home care aide can assist the senior to reinforce key messages and help them with tasks such as how to dress, avoid dangerous areas in the home, and lift their spirits by revisiting family pictures and names
- Help the caretaker with bathing, toileting and hygiene for the senior
- Provide respite care or free time for family members
- Additional support for the family caregiver when the senior wishes to attend functions such as family events
- Assist with recreation and appropriate distraction for the individual, including keeping them involved in favorite hobbies
- Help the caretaker administer medications
- Teach family members and friends how to best communicate with the senior
How to find the best in-home care provider for dementia patients
Choosing a home care provider is a very important decision. Some people work best with a home health agency, while others do better with an individual care provider. Consider the following steps to select the service that best fits your needs:
- What type of care do you need? Before contacting prospective providers, create a list of care needs and expectations on how those needs will be met.
- Call home care providers to find out what kind of help they offer and if it meets your specific needs.
- Meet and interview prospective home care agencies or providers in your home.
- Prepare questions beforehand and have a third person present to discuss your impressions.
- Check references, verify background checks, and talk to others who have worked with the provider.
- Share information. The more care providers know about the person they are caring for, the better care they can provide. People with dementia still maintain strong memories from periods of their past and this helps manage the condition. Familiarize the care provider with past accomplishments, memories and other life moments that are relevant.
How do familiar routines benefit dementia patients?
Familiar surroundings are safe and soothing to all of us and the same holds true with daily routines.
For people battling dementia or Alzheimer’s, sticking to a schedule they had prior to the disease goes a long way in reducing anxiety and confusion. A routine of watching the evening news after dinner every day can bring a sense of peace and normalcy, even if the person isn’t fully aware of what is showing.
One key element of home care is that services are provided to match personalized care plans. This allows a set routine that is especially beneficial for patients who thrive on familiarity. Caregivers are trained specifically in daily activity assistance for chores and personal needs at set times throughout the day. Preserving routines can help elderly people retain a sense of control and awareness of their surroundings.
Perceptive caregivers can help provide a positive environment for dementia patients by learning about a senior’s past interests and adapting the way they engage in meaningful hobbies.
Sensory stimulation is another crucial component of dementia care, especially in later stages of cognitive impairment. Music therapy, dance or other creative outlets have a positive effect on mental health, physical health and social functioning in older adults.
Competent home care companies will also keep a close eye on the impact of in-home care and recommend changes as needed. In some cases, the condition of the disease worsens, and additional in-home care resources are needed in order to provide adequate service.
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.