According to the World Health Organization, dementia is a syndrome that deteriorates someone’s memories and makes them incapable of performing even the most trivial tasks like bathing, walking, etc. Dementia is a disease that is mostly seen in elders and seniors of a mature age. These people are already dealing with problems that life offers while in senescence. Senior home health care is a god-sent service where the elders are looked after by well-trained professionals who serve and assist dementia ridden to the best of their capabilities. Dementia progresses in approximately seven stages. It is recommended that these elders gain care and assist in their own homes as that helps them remember certain things for a longer time.
The seniors obtain dementia care at home by trained professionals
While the caregivers offer similar assistance as regular home care for seniors but the caregivers for dementia and Alzheimer’s are trained and given knowledge about the various stages of dementia and how to deal with the elders as the disease progresses to different stages and how to keep them calm and relaxed at all times. The training provided to the caregivers is such that they can try to stimulate some memories back to the seniors through certain activities and experiences. Their services can be personalized as per the needs of the dementia patient as they can identify the warning signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia during the early onset. Along with these specialized services they are also trained to provide basic needs like shopping for groceries, medication management, transportation, preparing meals, etc.
The care provided varies in different stages of dementia
There is a different level of attention and care required at each stage of dementia.
- In the early stages, the elders require minimal care related to the disease and can go about their normal lives without much supervision. They might forget small things like names or words which can be retrieved by assisted memory.
- But as the disease progresses their condition worsens and they might start forgetting familiar faces and have erratic mood swings. At this stage, the seniors find it difficult to do physical movements and cannot demonstrate any kind of hand-eye coordination. This is where the caregivers come into the picture as they are specially trained to aid their scheduled life and maintain a routine while helping them out with resolving their memory issues as well.
- During the late stages typically around the last 1-3 years of the patient’s life, they require intensive care as they are in extreme confusion regarding their circumstances. The at-home aids are trained to subside the delusions and hallucinations that the seniors have and are good at subsiding their anxiety and panic attacks.
The caregivers use special techniques to cope with dementia
As mentioned the caregivers are extensively trained in keeping the seniors calm and collected. Dementia can often cause hysterical behavior in an elder and these people can guide them into a serene mindset through tried and tested techniques. These involve keeping familiar objects and people around like a family album or old home videos. This helps the seniors to recognize their close ones easily and not freak out when they come to visit. Another effective trick that they apply is written reminders, notes, maintaining a list of routine tasks and directions to perform daily activities. It is very useful for an elder to go through these lists and sort out their queries if their thinking becomes groggy and clouded. Keeping lights on during the dark hours and regularly going on walks with the seniors keep them from wandering away at odd hours of the day. The caregivers usually keep elders with dementia occupied by chatting with them about current events or their hobbies. They can also read newspapers or literature for them if it interests the senior. These methods prove to be quite effective and also keeps the aged calm and collected.
It is essential to actively empathize with the dementia patients
A true caregiver is one who is compassionate and empathetic towards the seniors’ condition. They must be patient and composed even when the patient proves to be difficult. They have to understand and adopt methods that are most suited to the situation and place themselves in the elder’s position before taking any action. This helps them to consider the feeling of the patient. The seniors might experience some good days and also some bad ones. A caregiver always rejoices during the good ones and should also be able to weather the storm on the bad days. They apply their best efforts so that the elder is happy but the disease might take its toll and create havoc. They fulfill their duties by keeping them calm and collected during those times.
In-home dementia care is extremely cost-effective
As old age calls, the seniors usually require a helping hand to get their chores done and in cases of elders with dementia and Alzheimer’s, the patient requires a bit of extra care with the same chores and other additional activities. But the surprising fact is that the regular at-home care and dementia specialist cost remarkably similar. There isn’t much difference in the pay scale for the caregivers who are trained to care for dementia-ridden elders. You should always plan for the future care that might be required by the elders as this will help you the best quality professional caregivers and memory care providers.
They implement effective methods like cognitive therapeutics that can improve the lifestyle of the patient by several folds. You can also look for companies or agencies that take care of all the procedures right from analyzing the level of care needed to find the appropriate caregiver as per your elder’s needs. Having a constant aid also ensures that your senior has at least one familiar face to look at every day and can associate this face with certain day-to-day activities.
Find a trained caregiver through vigorous research
There is a countless number of assisted living facilities that provide top-notch care but an elder with dementia demands the proper care and assistance at home which is a familiar environment for them. You can find some options by discussing it with your doctor or looking up for resources through the Alzheimer’s association or Dementia Association. You can find people suffering similar dilemmas in these associations and can provide some beneficial suggestions. Initiate a conversation about this with your seniors during the early stages of the disease so that they can get acquainted with the caregivers smoothly.
Book an appointment with facilities that provide professionals for at-home senior care and discuss your situation with them. Certain well-reputed facilities will visit the elder’s home and analyze how the home needs to be proofed for proper care to be given to the seniors. They will send in well-trained caregivers that can acclimatize to the new environment easily and can comfort the patients with their methods. This helps you overcome the key disadvantage of nursing homes and care facilities as the seniors do not receive one-on-one care for their condition which worsens their living conditions. Such professionals make the task of caregiving for dementia patients look like a piece of cake.