In-home care is non-medical care provided by certified home health aides. This team of caregivers offers companionship, supervision, and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and eating. Aides can also assist with light house cleaning, meal preparation, transportation to appointments, and medication management. In-home care is ideal for individuals who need some assistance but can otherwise maintain some of their independence and families who would like additional support in caring for their loved ones. Read on learn about in home care for dementia patients.
In-home care for those with dementia differs in various ways from standard home care. While caregivers provide the same services, in-home care aides supporting patients with dementia are specially trained in the various stages of the disease and are able to deal with common problematic behaviors and symptoms. In addition, they are well trained in safety issues related to dementia. Care plans also include activities that stimulate memory, such as looking at photo albums, listening to old music, or reading familiar books. Because dementia can be a challenging illness to manage, this careful attention to how the disease progresses and changes a person’s behavior and mental abilities improves their quality of life and gives them the support they need to retain a sense of independence and normalcy.
Benefits of Dementia In-Home Care
If your loved one is living with dementia, he or she may benefit from professional assistance on a daily basis. Dementia is known to be a very difficult condition to manage, and the many changes that take place constantly can be overwhelming. Caregivers who understand the ways in which dementia can affect a person’s life and behavior provide compassionate support that allows patients to continue living independently when they are otherwise unable to carry out some of their daily activities. In-home care also lets them remain in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible. It is particularly beneficial for a dementia patient to stay in their own home because the consistency, familiarity, and comfort of the home provide much-needed stability.
For families, in-home care gives them peace of mind that their loved one is receiving professional and high-quality support as they manage their disease. It also allows them to take some time to rest. While their loved one is receiving care from an in-home care aid, family caregivers can recharge and handle other responsibilities.
Following are several ways in-home care for dementia patients differs from standard home care.
Assistance with Activities of Daily Living
As people age, they may slow down and find it more difficult to complete their daily activities. In addition to this natural aging process, those with dementia eventually forget what they need to do each day, from bathing to preparing meals. Dementia can also impact other abilities over time. With the support of an in-home care aid, those with dementia continue their activities of daily living, despite their illness.
Differences in Daily and Weekly Schedules
Daily and weekly schedules for dementia patients can be challenging. While consistency is highly recommended to decrease stress and anxiety, the fast pace of the disease and the many changes it brings must be accommodated. A trained professional will be adept in managing these new circumstances while providing the regularity necessary throughout each stage of your loved one’s illness.
During early-stage dementia, most patients are still independent and require minimal supervision. However, many families choose to employ an in-home caregiver, as the early stages of dementia can still be a challenge to manage. Loved ones may need assistance with medication management, organization, keeping appointments, and developing coping strategies, all of which an in-home care aide can provide.
A consistent schedule is difficult to follow during this stage, though it can be essential in helping patients feel secure. They may not recognize once-familiar faces or locations, and their behavior and mood may be erratic. Physical movements and coordination can also become difficult. As your loved one continually forgets things, a more consistent schedule — such as eating breakfast or bathing at the same time each day — can be instrumental in preserving their sense of safety and calm in an otherwise stressful situation.
Extreme confusion in regard to both past circumstances and present ones is common in late-stage dementia, and 24/7 care is often necessary. Patients lose their ability to process information, and communication becomes difficult. Their moods and behaviors are also more erratic. At this point, in-home care is recommended only while transitioning to a memory care unit at a healthcare facility, which will provide the most advanced and comprehensive care possible for your loved one.
Finally, in-home care for dementia patients differs from standard care in the type of training caregivers undergo. All in-home care aides understand how to best support the ill, the elderly, and their families. However, aides specializing in dementia support receive additional training in the many challenges that the disease can bring. They are able to manage behavioral changes, memory loss, and other symptoms of the condition, giving families more confidence that their loved one will receive the right type of care.
Choosing an In-Home Care Provider
For more information about in-home care for dementia patients, or to schedule a consultation for your loved one, contact Comfort Home Care. The agency’s trained and certified staff understand how to manage dementia and provide the support that allows your loved one to retain their independence and quality of life. With this support, your loved one will be able to remain at home for as long as possible, which can be particularly soothing for those with dementia. In-home care gives family members time to recharge and rest. As important, your family will have access to information and resources so you have confidence in providing care when you are on your own.