What You Can Expect In The Early Stages
If you havent had any kind of experience with someone who is living with Alzheimers or dementia, the early stages of these illnesses can be very overwhelming and eye-opening.
The early stages is usually referred to as mild Alzheimers and is not the same as early on-set .
Many people when in this stage dont actually know they have the illness as the symptoms are not always super obvious.
Common symptoms in mild Alzheimers or dementia can include
The Benefits Of Senior Home Care For Alzheimers Patients
While most people with Alzheimers are over the age of 65, Alzheimers isnt a normal part of getting older and shouldnt be treated as such.
It is the most common form of dementia, and Alzheimers accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases. This disease has no current cure and worsens over time, but there are things you can do to help a loved one who suffers from it lead the most normal life they can. The best way to help a loved one with Alzheimers is to get them senior home care in Plano. Here are the top 5 reasons why in-home care is so essential for those suffering from Alzheimers and how it improves their quality of life.
Caregiver Burnout And Stress
As care needs intensify with the progression of dementia, the physical, mental, and emotional ability to care for a loved one at home typically declines. Caregivers may also feel isolated as their loved ones needs increase and around-the-clock care becomes necessary.
Taking on a dementia patients needs all alone is challenging. The stress of dementia caregiving is also known to aggravate other health problems a caregiver may have. This leads to decreased safety and quality of life for both the caregiver and their loved one, a key indicator of when to move to memory care. If youre a long-distance caregiver, these issues can arise even earlier. Maintaining two households can quickly become difficult to manage. Memory care communities, on the other hand, have an entire staff of people all working toward the success of your loved one.
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What Does 24 Hour Home Care Entail
Care needs will vary depending on the individuals ability to function, physically and emotionally. Non-medical home care providers are able to monitor vital signs, manage medication, prepare food, clean the home or do laundry. They also provide the following services if necessary:
- Help a patient get light exercise, which is an important part or retaining mobility.
- Help them care for their personal hygiene, as in bathing, combing their hair, applying lotion and brushing teeth
- Help them get dressed
- Help with going to the bathroom or dealing with incontinence and accidents.
Care providers also provide a vital link by communicating with medical personnel, family members and friends, keeping everyone updated on the current situation and the patients needs.
Psych Yourself Up To Be A Dementia Caregiver
In a randomized trial of 119 caregivers, Johns Hopkins MIND at Home researchers found the most upbeat and positive dementia caregivers tended not to hesitate on interventions. Instead, they jumped right in with environmental modifications, communication techniques and other needed interventions. Four months later, the caregivers were fully engaged and seeing positive changes in their loved ones behavior.
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Signs That Its Time For 24 Care
According to dementiastatistics.org, 63.5% of caregivers who look after a loved one with dementia feel like they have little to no support. Sometimes caregivers find themselves unable to bear the burden of providing home health care without suffering from illness themselves. This is when the emotional and physical cost of care-giving becomes too high and is an indicator that it is time to consider professional care services such as 24-hour care.
Memory Care Therapies And Activities For Dementia Patients
Dementia care communities offer memory care activities and therapies designed for residents with all levels of dementia a major benefit of memory care at a community as compared to in-home care. These structured programs often require specially trained staff and aim to reduce cognitive decline, promote positive reminiscence, and comfort residents:
Check Elder Care And Dementia Care Services In Your Community
There may be times when caregivers are not able to care for their loved one. If additional help is needed during the day, adult day care centers provide entertainment and care for people with dementia while giving much-needed breaks for their caregivers.
Home services are also available to give you more time in your day. Certified nursing assistants can visit your home to help with medical needs, such as administering medications or caring for wounds. If you need more help, in-home health aides can cover light housekeeping, cooking and other nonmedical needs. Some grocery stores and meal services can also assist by delivering food or meals to your home. Try exploring the options that are available to you.
Its important to ask your loved ones doctor or dementia care coordinator for local resources and contacts.
Can Dementia Patients Live At Home
People with dementia can live at home, especially in the early stages of dementia.
Dementia is a progressive disease, meaning that its symptoms get worse over time. One of the significant signs of dementia is short-term memory loss. Short-term memory loss means they can often forget:
- Where they placed things
- New names or places
- Scheduled events or appointments
They may need help remembering new information, but living at home isnt a huge issue in the early stages of dementia.
Additionally, home is a place of comfort and certainty. The later stages of dementia can bring about confusion, wandering, and the risk of getting lost. Keeping individuals with dementia in their homes provides them with familiarity. This familiarity may include:
- Events and other appointments
Home is an excellent place for someone with dementia to remain, regardless of their dementia stage.
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Memory Care And Assisted Living In Alabama
If you feel that while you would prefer to keep your loved one at home, you are not able to give them a good quality of life, it may be a good time to consider a memory care facility. Our long-term care and assisted living programs can offer a customized treatment program, a healthy diet, 24-hour support and supervision, and social activities. Rehab Select offers services near Montgomery, Birmingham, and Alzheimers care near Opelika, Al. If you would like further advice on Alzheimers memory care or to tour one of our five locations in Alabama, please contact us here.
Explore Living On A Memory Floor Of A Retirement Home
When sufficient care and supervision cannot be provided within the persons home, a dementia sufferer may need to move into a retirement home that has an enhanced service floor such as a memory unit.
On these memory units, nurses and non-medical health care aides are staffed around the clock to provide healthcare and personal care support as needed.
That said, this service is prohibitively expensive for most people. Many families, out of financial concern and worry about long term affordability, ultimately request to transfer to a nursing home where fees are somewhat subsidized by government bodies and social assistance.
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When Should Someone With Alzheimer’s Go To A Memory Care Facility
Its true that there are advantages to keeping the patient at home for as long as reasonably possible, but it depends on the Alzheimer’s symptoms and stages. Here are a few reasons to keep them at home in the early stages of the disease:
- Some patients struggle with change and may be distressed by the move.
- Some patients experience a rapid deterioration when they enter a nursing home.
- Assisted living at a memory care facility can be more expensive than looking after the patient yourself.
However, long-term care homes dont have to be seen as a last resort. Todays Alzheimers memory care facilities have improved radically, and many offer an exceptional level of care, focused on maximizing the patients quality of life.
Here are four questions that you should ask yourself before making the decision to place your loved one in long-term memory care:
A Higher Standard Of Care 24 Hours A Day
Our individualized care plans allow us to accommodate the unique situations and needs of our clients and their families. We work with a clients entire care team to develop the plan, whether you or a loved one value the security of having someone else in the home at all times or are looking to reach goals that improve quality of life.
We strive to elevate the human spirit through quality, compassionate care. If you or a loved one could benefit from around-the-clock support,contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our care coordinators. Well provide you with more information on 24-hour home care and work with you to develop a plan that meets all your needs for all hours of the day or night.
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Not Bathing Or Dressing
An area where dementia patients tend to struggle is bathing and dressing. Cognitively impaired individuals may be resistant to engaging in personal care tasks or forgetful.
For example, those with dementia may get confused or disoriented resulting in shirts or pants being put on backwards or inside out.
It is also common for them to dress inappropriately for the temperature and weather ie. only wearing a shirt and shorts during a cold winter.
With bathing, some individuals may be resistant to maintaining their personal hygiene and may have body odor. It is not uncommon for dementia sufferers to reject a family members suggestion to have a shower or bath.
Respite For Family Caregivers
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a rewarding yet increasingly challenging task. The previous three benefits focused primarily on the person with dementia, but family caregivers also benefit from 24-hour dementia care.
As a family caregiver to someone with dementia, you may feel like youre giving up your life to care for your loved one. You can become overly stressed and experience burnout. Hiring a 24-hour in-home dementia caregiver for your loved one can provide needed relief from caregiving.
Once your aging loved one has a full-time caregiver, you wont have to worry about providing the hands-on care yourself. Instead, you can start enjoying more quality time with your loved one.
Often, youll still have a hand in the caregiving process through the in-home care agency. Theyll keep you updated on your loved ones care needs and be available if you have any concerns. However, theyll handle all the practical care so you can be free of worry and fully present when youre with your loved one.
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The Late Stages Of Alzheimers Dementia
As someone moves into the later stages of these illnesses, they often become unable to verbally communicate their needs or even attend to their needs on their own.
During this stage, nonverbal communication becomes so important to make sure they are getting the care they need and are comfortable with the people who are caring for them,
In the late stages of this illness, a person may experience symptoms like
Connect With A Dementia Care Coordinator
There are many elements to consider when beginning to care for a loved one with dementia at home. Legal, safety, health and interpersonal changes will need to be made. Dementia care coordinators can help with safety concerns, medical attention, medication management, nutrition support and more. They can be especially helpful when a loved one is dealing with other medical conditions for which they need treatment.
Some care coordinators will conduct an initial assessment to thoroughly check your home and living situation. They will create a list of needs and work with caregivers to address the improvements most impactful to the home environment. Together, dementia care coordinators and caregivers can fix safety concerns or remove possible triggers before they become a problem. The goal to this type of care is to keep people at home with the highest quality of life for the longest period of time, explains Havrilla.
As an added bonus, loved ones who have some assistance from care coordinators remain in the home longer. In a Johns Hopkins Maximizing Independence at Home trial, researchers found that patients who were in contact with a care coordinator at least once a month for 18 months were less likely to move to an institution or die than those in the control group.
To find dementia care coordination services in your area talk to your doctor or local organizations.
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Is My Loved One As Safe At Home As They Would Be At An Alzheimers Memory Care Facility
There are several factors that you should consider when you evaluate the Alzheimers patients safety in their own home:
- Alzheimers disease can cause sufferers to put themselves at risk. They may, for instance, leave pans on the stovetop, leave the gas on, ingest poisonous chemicals, or slip and fall. They may wander out into the street and get lost, or stumble into traffic. There are steps that can be taken to make the home safer, but when they begin to have late stage Alzheimers symptoms, you may feel that your loved one would be more secure in long-term care.
- If you are not physically strong enough to help them, then as they become more physically dependent on you, you may not be able to protect them from falls or safely lift them up.
- Some Alzheimers sufferers develop aggressive behaviors that could put others around them at risk. Or, if they are sharing the home with family members, their forgetful behavior could cause harm to their co-habitants.
Alzheimers memory care facilities provide round-the-clock supervision, as well as full security if your family member tends to wander.
How Far Have The Alzheimer’s Symptoms And Stages Progressed
Alzheimers disease has three stagespatients at each stage require different levels of care. A person diagnosed with Alzheimers usually lives another four to eight years after diagnosis but could live as long as 20 years. Early-stage Alzheimers patients can live relatively normal lives, although they may notice memory lapses, have difficulty organizing themselves and may struggle in particular with work or social settings. Patients at this stage can usually manage to stay in their own homes and may still have the legal capacity to make decisions about their future care preferences.
The next stage, moderate Alzheimers, can last for several years. Patients during this stage will have obvious symptoms, such as confusion, severe memory lapses, getting lost, and behavioral or personality changes, like delusions, suspicion, moodiness, changes in sleep patterns, and in some cases loss of bladder or bowel control.
Late stage Alzheimers symptoms can make a person unable to function and eventually lose control of movement. They need 24-hour care and supervision. They are unable to communicate, even to share that they are in pain, and are more vulnerable to infections, especially pneumonia.
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Its Never Too Soon But It Can Be Too Late
Many senior health care professionals say that moving to a senior living community like The Ridge or other kinds of memory care facilities too early poses absolutely no risk but making the move too late can have severe consequences. Moving seniors who are in the middle to late stages of dementia puts more stress on their lives and hinders the ability of new caregivers to devise a care plan effectively. In almost every situation, the earlier the senior with dementia moves to memory care, the better their quality of life. While this is a good rule of thumb to follow, moving to memory care doesnt necessarily mean a senior with dementia needs 24-hour care. Around-the-clock care may not be necessary for some time, but when it is inevitably needed, those already in memory care can make the transition more seamlessly. When the time to move to memory care does come, take a look at this helpful advice on what to expect.
When Might A Person Need 24 Hour Home Care
The need for 24 hour home care may be temporary or ongoing. A person may need temporary care after suffering a traumatic injury or while recovering from surgery. Individuals may need ongoing help if they have special needs or if their cognitive abilities are impaired by Alzheimers disease, dementia, brain tumors, or a stroke.
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When Do Dementia Patients Need 24
Dementia is a general term for memory loss that can affect an individuals ability to perform daily life tasks. Its a progressive disease, meaning the symptoms will start slowly and get worse over time. Family caregivers often provide care for their loved ones in the early stages of dementia, but eventually, the burden of care may become overwhelming.
There may come a time when your aging loved one with dementia needs 24/7 in-home senior care. If you recognize any of these things in your aging senior, it may be a good sign to think about full-time dementia care at home:
- Increased falls or greatly decreased balance
- Sleeplessness or being awake during the night
- Inability to eat or drink independently
- Fainting or confusion from dehydration
- Frequently wandering or getting lost
- Increased incontinence or inability to make it to the bathroom
- Health risks
- Safety concerns
Recognizing any of these signs in your loved one may be an indication that 24-hour dementia care is a beneficial option.