Cognitive impairment problems like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are a growing problem among the elderly. These illnesses lead to difficulty in performing basic activities like bathing, dressing, and some patients need constant supervision.
While the ailments are manageable during the early stages, it can be overwhelming for family members to provide care as they progress. As such, most family members opt for specialized care facilities for assisted living and professional home health care at the patient’s home.
The progression of the disease determines the type of care the patient needs. Understanding your options is crucial to maximizing those twilight years for your loved one. The next part of the text compares and contrasts two forms of specialized care available to people with dementia.
Home health care
Maintaining dignity and preserving independence is a primary concern as we age. Yet, this proves challenging when a loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. To keep your loved one as independent and safe as possible, home health care may be the option.
Home health care includes medical or non-medical services provided in the comfort of a person’s own home. Depending on the type of care needed, home health professionals may be nurses, home health aides, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, or social workers. Each person’s situation is unique.
In the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, personal care assistance may be what is most needed, as long as the person does not have any other medical needs.
Types of home care services
Not all home care services are the same. Some in-home services provide non-medical help, such as assistance with daily living. Other home health services involve medical care given by a licensed health professional, such as a nurse or physical therapist.
Common types of home-based care services:
- Homemaker services and companion care: This is assistance with tasks like laundry, errands, meal preparation, and light housekeeping. If individuals receiving care are able to leave their homes, homemaker and companion caregivers can accompany them to appointments or take them shopping. Homemakers can help you or your loved one with household management to ensure a clean, safe, and orderly environment. Companions focus on well-being and provide social interaction, physical activities, and recreation. They create a safe and supportive environment for activities like reading, conversing, and playing games, while assisting with leisure time and providing cognitive stimulation.
- Health care assistants (HCA) or Trained Caregivers: This is personal care for you or your loved one, which includes assistance with activities, such as preparing meals, medication reminders, and exercising. HCAs offer step-by-step directions for dressing and give cues and directions for bathing, grooming, and toileting. HCAs can also assist with transfers for those who have difficulty walking. Most home health care providers allow HCAs to perform some of the duties of a homemaker/companion. Nurse clinical managers usually supervise the care given by companions, trained caregivers and HCAs.
- Advanced care: These professionals help with wound care, injections, physical therapy and other medical needs often provided by a licensed health professional. Often times, a home health care agency coordinates these types of skilled care services once they have been ordered by a physician.
Most importantly, these professionals can provide you with peace of mind when you are unable to be there yourself.
Alzheimer’s and dementia can be very challenging for both the person with the disease and their family. It’s important to select a home health care agency that hires caregivers who embody compassion, excellence, and reliability.
This form of care is a long-term care option that combines health care, housing, and support services. The patient is also entitled to personal care services like transportation, medication management, and round-the-clock care.
Patients also have the option of living in a shared space or a private room depending on their budget. Assisted Living facilities are ideal for dementia patients who are independent but need help with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living.
GoCare Health Solutions Limited understands that Alzheimer’s and dementia affect each person differently and because of this, we customize a care plan tailored to the individual’s needs. As the disease progresses, we continue to evaluate the situation and work with you to keep adapting our care to support you and your loved on in the best way possible.
To learn more about dementia or to plan for a loved one’s care, contact us today.