Alzheimer’s Disease affects over 5 million people in the United States. That number is expected to grow to 16 million by the year 2050. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2013 family and friends provided over 17 billion hours in unpaid care for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
This amount of care can be draining on families and create stress over an already difficult situation. Often you can’t provide the care needed as the disease progresses and impacts your loved one. You may have a job that doesn’t afford you flexibility or small children that require a lot of care. You may live in another city or state that makes caring for your loved one impractical.
We can help. We have caregivers specially trained to care for clients who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Our Care Services:
- Medication Reminders
- Help with Daily Activities
- Meal Preparation
- Provide Social Interaction
- Encourage Engagement
- Communicate Changes with Family
Alzheimer’s and Dementia In Home Care
Nearly 50 million people worldwide have some form of dementia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease may contribute to anywhere from 60 to 70 percent of all dementia cases. There is no one-size-fits all form of dementia and Alzheimers care services. Each individual living with dementia or Alzheimer’s will have different care needs.
As such conditions advance, home care often becomes a necessity for personal safety reasons, or when loved ones are no longer able to provide appropriate supervision and assistance. Here’s what you need to know about Alzheimer’s and dementia care service options.
What Is Dementia In Home Care?
Home care refers to any type of services provided in a patient’s home. People with dementia often prefer to remain in familiar surroundings for as long as possible. When loved ones can’t provide the level of supervision needed for such care, trained caregivers can fill that role. Home care has several benefits of both patients and loved ones who may be acting as caregivers:
- Home care eases the stress sometimes experienced by the estimated 10 million family members in the United States who take on caregiving duties for a loved one with dementia in addition to other responsibilities
- Several studies suggest dementia patients generally do better in home settings
- It’s easier to introduce a new person (the caregiver) to a patient when they are in a comfortable home environment
- Patients often appreciate being able to continue to interact regularly with familiar neighbors, friends, and family members (many of whom are usually able to visit patients more often when they are still living at home)
Who Needs Alzheimer’s Home Care?
There is no set time to begin Alzheimers in home care. Everyone with the condition will experience varying levels of cognitive impairment. Some patients will respond well to treatment and may do fine with occasional assistance from family members and loved ones. Other individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s may have more difficulty with certain daily functions and require more direct supervision and assistance.
Despite some advances with treatment and important research discoveries, there is no cure yet for Alzheimer’s disease. The reality is that all individuals with Alzheimer’s and certain forms of dementia will eventually reach a point where more substantial care is needed to maintain quality of life and personal safety.
What Types of Dementia Home Care Are Available?
The type of in-home care that’s needed will vary. Most individuals with dementia will need different, and often more substantial, forms of home care as their condition advances. Some forms of in-home dementia care involve only non-medical services primarily including assistance with daily living needs.
Other forms of in-home care include both non-medical and medical services that may include physical therapy and assistance with medication.
In-home services typically involve one of the following types of care:
Usually needed during the early stages of dementia, companion services involve supervision and assistance as needed or requested. This type of care generally includes directly interacting and communicating with the person (e.g., having general daily conversions and sometimes using memory cues during conversions) and engaging in appropriate recreational activities.
Personal Care Services
This type of care involves assistance with daily care routines. Care is given in a way that allows the patient to retain as much of their independence and privacy as possible. For instance, caregivers may ask questions such as, “Do you need help brushing your hair today?” instead of automatically doing it for the person. Assistance is typically provided with:
- Bathing and toileting
- Dressing and other daily routines
- Eating and exercising
Assistance is sometimes needed with household tasks. As with personal care services, the amount of help provided will be based on patient needs and capabilities. This type of care involves the following forms of assistance:
- Light housekeeping
- Laundry and changing linens
- Cooking and meal planning and preparation (with an emphasis on making healthy food choices since diet can play a role in cognitive functioning)
- Running errands and shopping
Skilled Alzheimers Home Care
Skilled care is usually needing during the middle and later stages of Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related conditions. In addition to physical therapy, such care may include help giving medications, including injections that may be required for conditions such as diabetes, and wound care and evaluations for infection. A patient’s primary care or specialized care physician often provides input to determine what’s required with this type of home assistance.
How Do You Prepare to Meet with Care Providers?
Dementia or Alzheimer’s in home care usually starts with an interview between the patient and/or their loved one who is acting as their primary care giver. Initial information may be exchanged over the phone. During an initial home visit, the patient will be introduced to the person who will likely be providing most or all of their care.
An introductory meeting can determine if there is compatibility with the patient and the caregiver and allow everyone involved in the patient’s care to ask questions and share information. An initial in-home meeting is also a time when questions and clarifications can be made to address:
- The specific list of caregiving tasks that will need to be carried out on a regular basis
- CPR and first-aid training and other specific capabilities or skills of caregivers
- What type of training caregivers have with dementia and Alzheimer’s care
- The preferred care schedule for when in-home care will be provided
Note: When possible, efforts are made to keep care as consistent as possible with the same individual interacting with the client on a regular basis.
What Are the Costs Associated with In-Home Care?
Medicare covers certain types of home care. Some private health insurers may also cover all or some of the costs related to in-home care, depending on the details of the policy. Costs will also depend on:
- What type of care is provided
- How often services will be necessary
- What caregivers will be doing when visiting a home
Finding reliable home care service is an understandable concern for people living with some form of dementia and their loved ones. Our goal is to provide the peace of mind often appreciated by anyone dealing directly or indirectly with memory impairments that may affect quality of life and personal safety. Contact us today for more information on our dementia and Alzheimer’s home care services available in Nashville and surrounding areas.