Many of the 5.8 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia live at home, which has been proved to help them stay healthier, happier, and live longer.
However, home care is not always easier; family members and friends frequently provide care. Without the proper care, these well-meaning loved ones might burn out.
It can be challenging to keep your loved one safe and happy at home with dementia care. Don't lose hope, though, as enough assistance is available for you and your loved one. Here are some helpful tips:
A diagnosis of dementia is distressing for both the patient and their loved ones. It signals the beginning of a long and uncertain road for many. Most families begin their journey toward acceptance by learning more about Alzheimer's disease from the Alzheimer's Association. The charity offers support groups for dementia patients and their families. Additionally, they can connect you with local practitioners and information.
In a randomized study including 119 carers, Johns Hopkins researchers discovered that the most optimistic and happy caregivers tended not to hesitate before implementing interventions. Instead, they put in place changes to the environment, communication skills, and other necessary interventions. After four months, the caregivers were completely engaged and observing favorable behavioral changes in their loved ones.
Simple modifications, such as grab bars in the bathroom, tacked-down carpeting to prevent falls, and closed gun cabinets, protect against mishaps that force individuals into nursing homes. In one study, Johns Hopkins researchers determined that over 99% of dementia patients' needs were safety-related. In a second Johns Hopkins study involving 88 patients and their caregivers, it was discovered that the more safety and navigation assistance a person with dementia received, the higher they evaluated their own quality of life.
For some caregivers, looking after a loved one with dementia is a full-time job. A great deal of effort, care, and lifestyle adjustments may be required to protect the safety of a loved one.
As with any work, it is essential to schedule short breaks. Discuss with family members the possibility of overnight care for your loved one. If that does not work, consider researching alternative strategies to prevent burnout.
End-of-life care at home is typically advised by professionals. However, because each family and circumstance is different, permanent in-home care may not always be possible.
According to research, keeping a loved one with dementia at home improves their happiness and length of life. However, it is most effective when implemented early on. If the family cannot provide the necessary care, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities are reasonable alternatives.
Find out everything you need to know about treatments for dementia here at Senior Strong.
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.