Caring for an aging parent or family member who is struggling with Alzheimer’s is challenging. Family caregivers often struggle with knowing whether or not they are making the best decisions for their loved one.
Since Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can manifest very differently, there are unique challenges that must be acknowledged and addressed. Whether dealing with irritability and aggressiveness, loss of inhibitions, or delusions, most seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia get to a point where their loved ones can barely recognize the person they once knew. Family caregivers can begin to feel helpless, overwhelmed or just frustrated at having to say the same thing over and over because the senior has forgotten or clean up yet another mess created by the Alzheimer’s affected senior who is unable to complete everyday tasks without disaster. Safety concerns also become prevalent and family caregivers may become afraid to leave their loved one alone even for a few minutes. These factors can be both stressful and depressing for family caregivers who can find it extremely difficult to witness these changes in their loved one; it can become even more painful when they realized their loved one no longer knows who they are. As pressures and anxieties mount on family caregivers, it is then that many family members consider utilizing Alzheimer’s home care.
Alzheimer’s home care can be extremely beneficial for seniors suffering with Alzheimer’s. A primary advantage of using Alzheimer’s home care is that is takes the burden off family members who may be significantly less familiar with the disease and puts it in the hands of Alzheimer’s home care experts who have experience and familiarity with many aspects and manifestations of the disease. With input from the family members that know them best, caregivers are able to use their extensive knowledge and understanding of the disease and its symptoms – combined with cues from the individual’s background history, previous talents and interests – to develop a stimulating dementia care or Alzheimer’s home care plan. With care specific to the needs of seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, the senior’s quality of life can greatly improve.
Home care is also particularly useful for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia because it allows them to stay in a familiar environment longer. This is particularly useful because seniors with dementia are often struggling to find something familiar that they are not quite sure of, so being in a familiar environment helps calm some of their anxiety. When seniors with Alzheimer’s sense the familiar, it can lead to greater calmness which improves their quality of life and that of their family members.
Of course, the continued involvement of family members in their relative’s home care is important even once a professional home care agency is hired. While professional caregivers have the benefit of knowing about the medical and behavioral aspects of care, family members know their loved one best and can provide that sense of the familiar to them. Thus, a careful balance between family home care and professional home care can provide maximum benefit to seniors suffering with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia helping them maintain quality of life in their homes for as long as possible.