If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may feel as though your world has turned upside-down; you are not alone. According to the U.S. Alzheimer’s Association, 35% of family caregivers report health decline when caring for someone with dementia. This burnout often leads to the need for dementia care at home.
Dementia care offers specialized attention to someone with dementia. Dementia care is delivered with a person-centered focus, understanding the whole person and their needs, preferences, and risks. Dementia care services can include wandering prevention, home safety, medical management, and more.
Finding Dementia Caregivers
The quality of a dementia caregiver varies greatly, so be selective. A dementia caregiver must have the proper training and experience. Come prepared to ask the right questions when interviewing a dementia caregiver, and pay close attention to the rapport between the caregiver and your family.
Finally, ensure you hire a caregiver who licensed, bonded, and insured for your protection.
Preparing for Dementia Care
Before starting dementia care, it is essential that your loved one undergo a comprehensive dementia assessment by a medical professional. The sooner their symptoms and current level of functionality can be evaluated and addressed, the better for them, and for you.
Then it’s time to create a dementia care plan to help your family cope with dementia and anticipate the challenges ahead. A dementia care plan serves as a roadmap and will help you stay focused on the essential tasks that require attention.
Accepting Dementia Care at Home
Your loved one may be extremely vulnerable to change and will refuse to accept care. At LivHOME, we manage this all the time. We can find creative solutions that allow your loved one to accept home care services.
Dementia Caregiver Training
Dementia caregivers must be trained and experienced to handle the situations that arise when caring for someone with dementia at home. A dementia caregiver should be adequately trained to:
- Manage dementia behaviors
- Not take things personally
- Effectively approach a person with dementia
- Communicate with a person with dementia
- Engage a person with dementia in meaningful ways
- Anticipate problems and not be thrown off guard
- Identify triggers that cause sudden behaviors
Dementia Caregiver Supervision
At LivHOME, we employ geriatric care managers who consist of social workers, nurses, gerontologists, and mental health experts who train, match, and oversee dementia caregivers. They provide feedback, coaching, and conduct regular home visits to ensure the caregiver is delivering the highest quality of care.
Dementia Care Resources
Getting the resources and support for a loved one with dementia can be intensely challenging for family caregivers. Our care managers have experience working in their local communities. LivHOME knows the ins and outs of local dementia care resources, including costs, programs, facilities, and level of services. Most importantly, we understand the subtle nuances of a dementia care program and our care managers can help make recommendations.
Dementia Care Services at LivHOME
- Wandering prevention
- Home safety evaluation
- Personal care assistance
- Medication reminders
- Companion care
- Light housekeeping
- Meal planning and preparation
- Respite care
…and any others identified in the dementia home care plan.
People with dementia are prone to wandering away from their place of residence. The danger, of course, is that once a person with dementia has walked away, they may not be able to find their way back home. Interventions for wandering prevention include:
- Training caregivers to keep a close eye on situations
- Installing motion sensors, door sensors, and alarms
- Administering an ID bracelet with contact information
- Activating GPS on the phone to track whereabouts
Home Safety Evaluation
A home safety evaluation helps to identify the areas of the home that can put your loved one at significant risk. LivHOME uses this home safety evaluation checklist to evaluate the perimeter, and we can help:
- Install timers on gas stoves and ovens
- Use medication reminder technology
- Install latches on cupboards
- Remove sharp knives
- Remove/disarm firearms
- Remove clutter, throw rugs, and wires
Personal Care Assistance
Personal care and hygiene assistance are often required as the disease progresses. Dementia caregivers can assist with:
The memory loss and cognitive decline that’s associated with dementia will make it difficult for your loved one to take medications as prescribed. Dementia caregivers can:
- Oversee, confirm and document medications
- Organize medications
- Install a reminder system
- Limit access to prescriptions
Companion care focuses on overcoming boredom and alleviating social isolation. LivHOME strives to improve your loved one’s well-being by:
- Creating purposeful, adapted activities
- Planning regularly scheduled events
- Emphasizing activities that bring joy
Light housekeeping chores can help someone with dementia feel a sense of accomplishment. Dementia caregivers can engage your loved one in activities such as:
- Folding towels
- Setting the table
- Carrying plates to the sink
Meal Planning and Preparation
Healthy, nutritious meals are essential to everyone’s health and well-being. Dementia caregivers can help:
- Purchase groceries
- Plan and prepare meals
- Assist with feeding
If you are caring for someone with dementia at home, it’s vitally important that you take care of yourself. As the flight attendants tell us in those airplane safety talks, “You need to put your oxygen mask on yourself first, then attend to those who cannot do for themselves.” Respite care services allow you to take a break for a few hours or multiple days per week.
Dementia Home Care is Beneficial to Your Whole Family
At LivHOME, we understand that home care for elderly with dementia can be intensely challenging for family caregivers. We look for solutions that benefit the individual and their involved families. Trusting your loved one’s dementia care to LivHOME can help improve your family’s:
- Finances. Taking time off from work to care for a loved one with dementia can impact your earnings. A dementia home care agency will reduce time off of work and enable better work-life harmony.
- Mental Health. It’s not unusual for family caregivers to feel stress, worry, and guilt when caring for someone with dementia at home. Knowing that your loved one trusts our dementia caregivers will relieve the strain on your mental health.
- Physical Health. Caring for a loved one with dementia can be physically demanding. Your sleeping and eating patterns may be disrupted, and your energy may be drained. Our geriatric care managers can help you re-focus on health and well-being.
- Time. Dementia care takes up an enormous amount of time. Hiring a dementia home care agency can help you reclaim quality time you used to spend with your loved one and other important people in your life.
- Relationships. When your loved one has dementia, the relationship between the two of you changes. You may feel embarrassed, resentful, guilty, anxious—or all of those mixed emotions together. Our home care agency can shoulder the responsibilities, so you can reconnect with your loved one as a spouse, parent, or friend again.