Caring for a dementia-stricken parent at home can be both challenging and rewarding. Many people with dementia can live at home with some independence in the early stages of the disease. However, additional assistance is frequently required as the condition advances.
Discover the tools you'll need to provide successful home care for dementia patients, including safety tips, resources for elders and family caregivers, and warning indications that you may require a different type of caring arrangement.
According to the Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer's Treatment Center, seniors with dementia can live in their homes or with family caregivers for an extended period of time with the appropriate knowledge and support.
Assess your ability to provide these three things that Johns Hopkins researchers identified as critical for success when providing Alzheimer's home care for a loved one.
Seniors who have dementia frequently become disoriented and begin to wander. A fall may necessitate hospitalization or the immediate placement of the patient in a long-term care facility. As dementia progresses, the demands for safety change:
Regular medical treatment and pharmaceutical administration might assist loved ones in remaining at home longer. However, certain health conditions provide significant challenges when combined with dementia. When determining whether you can care for a person living with dementia at home, consider the following health concerns:
Appropriate stimulation, such as exercises and physical or occupational therapy, can help reduce agitation and improve the manageability of dementia symptoms:
With the right tools, family caregivers can assist in keeping a parent with dementia at home for an extended period of time. While seniors diagnosed with dementia frequently face a lengthy journey of cognitive decline, caregivers can support them along the way by giving memory aides and opportunities for success.
Memory aids can assist individuals in being more organized and managing memory loss symptoms. Several recommendations are made by the American Psychological Association (APA):
According to the APA, continued learning and achievement can alleviate anxiety about memory loss and slow the course of cognitive decline. Caregivers can assist elders with mild to severe dementia in succeeding by emphasizing residual strengths. By ensuring a degree of autonomy, you can aid in success when caring for a dementia parent at home.
There is no cure for dementia at the moment. Some elderly individuals with mild dementia can age successfully at home for years, if not decades, with the assistance of family caregivers. However, it's critical to keep in mind that dementia is unpredictable, and care requirements may change abruptly.
Additionally, keep in mind that caregiver demands and abilities may change over time. Inadequate caregiver health is a major reason for older adults with dementia to transition to memory care.
If symptoms worsen to the point where any of the three must-haves — safety, health care, and stimulation — cannot be met, or if the caregiver's mental or physical health is jeopardized, memory care may be necessary. Early exploration of choices may assist avoid tension and anxiety when the time comes for a change.
Are you looking for different treatments for your dementia-stricken loved one? Read this article for more info!
William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.