By BEN ADEL | Special to the Palisadian-Post
Many dedicated family members have taken it upon themselves to provide care for a loved one experiencing dementia. While this path does provide a perceived reduction of financial costs, this effort often comes with a negative impact on the health and overall budget of these families.
The alternative of licensed home care becomes an essential ally for family and friends who are taking on the role of caregiver.
Alzheimer’s Disease and the Challenges of Caregiving
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and it affects approximately 5.7 million Americans over the age of 65. This statistic is predicted to increase as more Baby Boomers become seniors.
The effects of Alzheimer’s disease can make day-to-day living difficult. With the decline of memory, your loved one might find tasks that were once simple have become difficult, which might result in mood and behavioral changes.
While this difficult disease takes an emotional toll on our loved ones, it is also difficult for the family members who help care for someone with senior dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Home Care Provides for Those Suffering from Dementia
Home care provides a range of services in the home, which means your loved one can stay in his or her own home, rather than a hospital or care facility. This option is less disorienting, as the familiar environment offers security and peace of mind for those suffering from dementia.
It is also a vital tool to help family and friends who might be acting as caregivers to combat the stress and fatigue that comes with caring for a loved one with senior dementia.
Some family members have called upon respite care services, which exist to provide temporary relief for these relatives providing care, but the ongoing challenges for dementia patients are not temporary.
Regular home care offers help with activities of daily living (ADLs), and important medical services are standard for trained and licensed caregivers and home health nurses and providers.
Wanting the best for our loved ones should include access to the most current and available help specifically geared toward assisting with dementia.
Advantages of a Home Environment for Dementia Patients
Let’s face it, our homes are often where we feel safe and most at ease. The ability for your loved one to be able to remain in their home as long as possible when suffering from dementia offers a sense of stability and security.
But being home can also create a list of worries for those acting as caregivers, as well as more work. Home care can help with important day to day tasks that cannot be skipped. These often include grocery shopping, light housekeeping, meal preparation and feeding, bathing and hygiene, and companionship.
Home care also provides someone vetted and trained to aid in the continual monitoring of any signs of decline or change in behavior. Since Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, it is critical to note changes in a patient. With a calming and stable environment in the home, positive behavior can be promoted, while easing the daily burden and worries of family and friends.
Another crucial aspect of home care comes with medication reminders. If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, remembering to take medication becomes a difficult effort. Utilizing the services of a caregiver, whose singular task is to help your loved one, means peace of mind by eliminating possible complications and consequences of missing doses.
The Choice to Count on Home Care
Helping your loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be a taxing effort on everyone involved. Careers and work life, caring for children, and a personal life are so often sidelined when these needs present themselves. Home care can be a regular breath of fresh air in these situations.
If you’re currently caring for a loved one suffering from dementia, it’s a good idea to speak first with the primary physician. Doctors can recommend providers with experience in aiding seniors with dementia.
The Los Angeles Department of Aging has a number of helpful resources to navigate dementia care. Home care agencies can provide certified caregivers with special dementia care training.
And remember, when you have the ability and space to look after yourself, you become healthier and more available to those who need you most, when they need you most.
Ben Adel is founder of Luxe Homecare, a Pacific Palisades-based homecare agency offering services in Los Angeles, Orange County and Riverside. They offer round-the-clock support including registered nurses (RN and LVN), rehabilitation and caregiving services. Contact the Luxe team at 310-459-3535 or visit luxehomecare.com.
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