What If I Don’t Feel Comfortable Asking For Help
Asking for and accepting help can be difficult. You may feel that it will stop you being independent. However, having people around who can help you if you need it will mean you can stay living alone for longer.
You may have lots of people who are there for you. But if you havent, it can be a good idea to put support in place as soon as you feel ready. You might not need much help right now, but talking to people about your diagnosis as soon as you feel ready can be reassuring. That way you will know there is help and support on hand when you do need it.
Support For Dementia Caregivers At The End Of Life
Caring for people with Alzheimers or other dementias at home can be demanding and stressful for the family caregiver. Depression is a problem for some family caregivers, as is fatigue, because many feel they are always on call. Family caregivers may have to cut back on work hours or leave work altogether because of their caregiving responsibilities.
Many family members taking care of a person with advanced dementia at home feel relief when death happensfor themselves and for the person who died. It is important to realize such feelings are normal. Hospicewhether used at home or in a facility gives family caregivers needed support near the end of life, as well as help with their grief, both before and after their family member dies.
Factors Associated With An Increased Risk Of Death In Dementia
Conversely, research has associated these factors with a higher risk of dying for someone with dementia.
- Delirium: The presence of delirium in people with dementia has been associated with an increased risk of death. One common cause of delirium is an infection.
- Falls and Hip Fractures: People with dementia have an increased risk of falls and hip fractures, and that risk, in turn, is associated with an increased risk of dying.
- Pressure Sores: Decubitus ulcers (also called “bed sores” increase the risk of death in those living with dementia.
- Inability to Perform ADLs: As dementia progresses, the ability to perform daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, eating or walking decrease. This decrease is associated with an increased risk of dying.
- Pneumonia: Developing pneumonia poses an increased risk of death in people with dementia.
- Age: Being 85 years old or older is associated with a significantly higher risk of death from Alzheimer’s disease.
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Caring For People With Dementia At Home
- Our relationship-centred approach enables our CAREGivers to provide personalised care that:
- Helps your loved one remain safe at home
- Builds confidence and encourages engagement
- Can provide nutritious meals and mealtime activities to encourage healthy eating
- Creates opportunities for social interaction
- Provides stimulating activities
Recognize When Alzheimers Patients Need A Higher Level Of Care
In later stages of the disease, caring for an Alzheimers patient at home often becomes too demanding, dangerous and expensive. Family caregivers must respect their personal limits, recognize serious changes in their loved ones condition, and learn about alternative Alzheimers care options that may be more appropriate as daily needs increase.
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Planning For The Future
- Talk to the person with dementia to make sure that they have a current up-to-date will that reflects their wishes.
- Encourage the person with dementia to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney so that a responsible person can make decisions on their behalf when they are no longer able to.
- Talk to the person with dementia about making an advance decision to refuse certain types of medical treatment in certain situations. It will only be used when the person with dementia has lost the capacity to make or communicate the decision in the future.
- If the person youre caring for has already lost the ability to make or communicate decisions but doesnt have an LPA, you can apply to the Court of Protection who can make decisions on behalf of that person or appoint someone else to do so.
If the person you care for drives, the law requires them to tell DVLA about their diagnosis. A diagnosis of dementia doesn’t automatically mean someone has to stop driving straight away – what matters is that they can drive safely. Talking to the person you care for about stopping driving can be very sensitive.
Is It Better To Live Home Alone Or In An In
There are opposing opinions on whether a person should live alone or be provided extensive care when living with a disease we know very little about.
The question is lingering: who should be taking care of people affected by dementia? Should they stay at home or should they be admitted into a health facility? Lets see.
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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.
Learn Alzheimers Communication Tips
Communicating with a person who has Alzheimers disease can become incredibly challenging, but much of what a family caregiver does depends upon mutual understanding. Without clear communication, both caregivers and patients are left feeling frustrated and misunderstood. When combined with ample practice and patience, the following suggestions can improve interactions and facilitate daily care tasks.
- Choose simple words and short sentences and use a gentle, calm tone of voice.
- Speak slowly and clearly, but do not talk to the person with Alzheimers like a baby.
- Maintain respect dont speak about them as if they werent there.
- Minimize distractions and background noise, such as the television or radio, to help the person focus on and process what you are saying.
- Allow enough time for them to respond, and be careful not to interrupt.
- If you cant understand what they are trying to say, look for nonverbal clues and take their surrounding environment into consideration.
- Learn to interpret gestures, descriptions and substitutions.
- Offer choices instead of asking open-ended questions.
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What The Society Calls For
- Provision of services that allow people with dementia to live independently in their own homes. The Society believes that people with dementia who want to remain in their own homes should be supported to do so for as long as possible. However, people with dementia who live alone require high-quality homecare services to allow them to live at home with dignity. This would still save money. One year of high-quality care in the community costs £11,000 less than a care home. Homecare services must be easy to access. This is because people with dementia living alone can find it harder to access information about services, and obtain support, as they may lack support from another person to help them through the process.
- Provision of services that promote quality of life and prevent social isolation. Over a third of people with dementia living alone had to stop doing things they enjoy as a result of a lack of services . Alzheimer’s Society recognises the importance of supporting people to carry out essential daily activities. However, the Society also believes that services should be available to ensure that people with dementia living alone can maintain a good quality of life. Services should include social groups, befriending services and accessible transport.
What Support Is Available For Me If I Care For Someone With Dementia
When youre caring for someone else, its easy to overlook your own needs. But looking after your health and making time for yourself can help you feel better and cope better with your caring role.
Caring for someone with dementia may lead to feelings of guilt, sadness, confusion or anger. Unlike with other conditions, it can be difficult to share these feelings with someone with dementia, leaving you feeling very isolated.
Its important to acknowledge these feelings, and theres no right or wrong way to feel. If youre feeling anxious, depressed or struggling to cope stressed, talk to your doctor who can let you know about help and support available to you.
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The Top 5 Questions About People With Dementia Living At Home
Dementia is a disease that affects nearly 5 million Americans. As the population ages, experts expect that number to rise, and many people may find themselves as a caregiver to someone with dementia.
But dementia doesnt immediately render someone unable to perform daily life tasks. Most people with dementia can still live for many years before they need serious hands-on assistance. And like most elderly adults, those with dementia want to age in the comfort of their own homes.
There are some potential risks to be aware of when thinking about letting your loved one with dementia live at home. However, there are also many benefits.
Here are the top five questions about individuals with dementia living at home.
Should A Person With Dementia Live Alone
Because of the nature of dementia, someone with dementia shouldnt live alone.
As we mentioned above, rapid dementia progression can occur, and the ability for those with dementia to wander or get lost is always a possibility. Leaving someone with dementia alone also runs the risk of a medical emergency occurring without someone to help immediately.
Someone may not need to stay with your loved one 24-hours a day during the early stages. But as dementia progresses, its best to make sure they have more regular care. Eventually, most people with dementia do need supervision at all hours of the day.
24-hour care for a person with dementia could look like:
- A family member staying with your loved one
- Moving your loved one into your home
- Getting a 24-hour in-home caregiver
- Some combination of the above
Ultimately, helping dementia patients live at home well involves ensuring their safety and comfort. A person with dementia is most safe when they arent left alone.
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When A Parent Lives Alone And Has Alzheimer’s: It Takes A Village
A person with Alzheimers who lives alone is at increased risk of:
- poor hygiene
- isolation and loneliness.
If youve ever tried to try convince someone with Alzheimers or other dementia to move from their home, you know it’s difficult. A common question that often arises is, Would it be safe to have my parent remain in their home, at least for a while? The answer? It depends.
It depends on:
- The stage of the disease, and
- Safety precautions in the home
Because abilities decrease over time, so does the ability to live alone. This is where knowledge of risks can help us understand when theyve become too great. What steps can we take to help a loved one stay safely at home for a longer time?
Lets look at each of the above safety issues for ideas.
Memory Care For Dementia Patients
A person with dementia has the option to live at home for as long as is desired, provided that reliable home care is integrated into daily living. When your aging loved one chooses to age at home, consider Assisting Hands Home Care for compassionate memory care services.
Our dementia caregivers are skilled in identifying dementia symptoms and wholly supporting the individual. A dementia patient who wanders will be gently led back to safety by our caregivers. Incontinence issues are handled discreetly. We patiently calm agitated seniors, too.
As our care recipients abilities decline, we increase our assistance. Common caregiver responsibilities include help with daily personal care activities, transportation to doctors appointments or errands, grocery shopping and meal preparation and providing companionship to reduce social isolation and loneliness.
Prepare For The Future
Discuss decisions about health and finances as soon as possible to ensure you have a say and are prepared for the future.
Preparing for the future may be the last thing you want to think about. But it will be easier to think about health and finances now rather than later to make sure you have a say in future decisions.
Living Alone In Isolation
Next, the painful truth is that people with such a diagnosis often face a considerable amount of loneliness and isolation. People who have dementia and live alone are at greater risk of social isolation and loneliness, two significant risk factors when it comes to declining senior health.
Research, conducted by the Alzheimers Society, has found that 62% of people with dementia who live alone feel lonely compared to 38% of all people with dementia. Loneliness can lead to early death .
For these people, asking others for help may feel overwhelming because:
Adding to their loneliness is that they tend to rarely ever leave their homes. Sometimes once a week or even once a month.
There is a 2002 study on social isolation done at the University of California in which more than 1,600 adults, were asked about loneliness. They were monitored for health issues of the 43 percent of those who reported that they suffered from loneliness, more than half died within six years. Lonely people are very much at risk of physical decline.
Research Alzheimers Behaviors And How To Manage Them
Sundowning and Sleep Problems
Many people with Alzheimers become restless, agitated, and irritable in the late afternoons and evenings. This is referred to as sundowning, sundowners or sundown syndrome. Explore these suggestions for managing the mood and behavior changes and poor sleep that occur due to sundowning.
- Encourage exercise and more physically demanding activities earlier in the day, as it tends to improve sleep quality. For example, move stimulating or stressful activities like bathing to the morning.
- Limit naps later in the day, but make sure the person gets adequate rest. Fatigue can increase the likelihood of late-afternoon restlessness and exacerbate sundowning.
- Set a quiet, peaceful tone in the evening by limiting family activities and other distractions. Eliminate loud noises, play soothing music, and minimize television watching, as it can be stimulating.
- Ensure the home remains well lit if darkness and shadows appear to trigger fear, pacing or other sundowning behaviors.
Hallucinations and Delusions
As the disease progresses, an older adult with Alzheimers disease may experience hallucinations and/or delusions. Learning how to respond to these symptoms is a critical component of Alzheimers care and often takes lots of practice.
Most Seniors With Dementia Live At Home Despite Pain Anxiety Poor Health
Shortfall in Home-Based Medical Care for Memory-Impaired Patients Must Be Addressed, UCSF Researchers Say
Contrary to popular belief, most older Americans with advancing dementia remain in their own homes many until they die. But a new study by researchers at UC San Francisco has revealed that this population may endure more pain and have more complex or unaddressed medical needs than their counterparts in nursing homes.
In the study, researchers compared the medical characteristics of 728 adults over 65 with moderately severe dementia, in three settings: the participants own homes residential care, which spans the spectrum of retirement communities from those offering support at extra cost to assisted-living facilities and nursing homes, which care for people unable to attend to their most basic needs.
Although the living-at-home participants had an average age of 82, four years younger than the nursing home residents, the researchers found that they had more chronic conditions 3.2 versus 3.1 were more likely to be bothered by pain 70.8 percent versus 58.6 percent and had fallen in the last month or had concerns about falls 67.1 percent versus 50.4 percent. Additionally, they were more likely to have anxiety and fair or poor health, rather than good or excellent health.
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How Long Can A Dementia Patient Live At Home
Dementia affects seniors in various ways and at different rates. In some people, the condition advances rapidly for others, dementia progresses more slowly. How long an individual with dementia can live at home is strongly correlated with the extent of in-home support.
Dementia patients can live the rest of their lives at home, provided they receive the appropriate care from trained and experienced dementia caregivers.
As a progressive brain disease, dementia worsens over time. A cure is not currently available, but on average, an individual with a dementia diagnosis can expect to live about ten years. Again, variations in terms of life expectancy exist. Some people live for over 20 years after a dementia diagnosis.
Dementia is a terminal illness. Brain cells die, causing a range of cognitive impairments, such as problems with memory, reasoning and problem solving. Brain cells also control bodily functions. When brain cell death occurs, the heart, digestive system and lungs will eventually fail.
Most Seniors With Dementia In Canada Live At Home
About 61% of seniors with dementia in Canada live at home and they require support while staying there.
There are approximately 5.8 million seniors in Canada and about 5.5 million live at home. CIHI analysis finds that of the estimated 431,000 seniors living with dementia in 20152016, more than 261,000 were estimated to reside outside of publicly funded long-term care or nursing homes.
Canadians living with dementia want to maintain their independence they want to live at home and engage with their community, said Pauline Tardif, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Comprehensive home and community care is an essential part of this equation. It helps maintain quality of life for people with dementia while also providing needed support for caregivers.
Seniors living with dementia who receive their initial assessment to determine eligibility for long-term care in a hospital are 6 times more likely to enter residential care than those assessed elsewhere
Seniors with dementia and their caregivers can follow 7 key strategies to help them remain in the community longer
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