How to Utilize Home Care When You Are an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Caring for a senior who has Alzheimer’s at home is difficult. Here’s how a home care agency can be of help.

A home care aide comforts a client.

Dementia is an umbrella term used to classify a range of medical conditions that affect memory and cognition. While the exact number of people diagnosed with dementia worldwide is difficult to determine, estimates are that fifty-five million people are living with it.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. In the United States, six million people have Alzheimer’s and the number is projected to rise to thirteen million by 2050. If you or a senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, here is what you should know about in-home care.

Getting Help with Alzheimer’s Caregiving at Home

Alzheimer’s caregivers face unique challenges ranging from concerns about the senior wandering from home to meeting their nutritional needs. Home care agencies provide a partner to help you meet those challenges.

Home care can be useful if a senior is in the early stages of the disease and wants to remain in their own home for as long as possible. An aide can assist with tasks to help ensure both safety and independence. It’s also helpful if a senior with Alzheimer’s is living with an adult child. A caregiver can supplement the care and support family members provide.

In-home caregivers have experience providing personal care (bathing, dressing, grooming) and medication reminders. They can also help with household tasks, grocery shopping, and meal preparation. Equally important, in-home caregivers can keep a watchful eye on a loved one with Alzheimer’s who has begun to wander. The benefits offered by home care agencies for adults with Alzheimer’s include:

  • Improved security: Wandering is a difficult yet common behavior among people with memory loss. Family members often say their senior loved one seems to go days without sleeping. This makes it difficult to manage their wandering around the clock. A caregiver can provide an extra set of eyes to minimize your family member’s risk of wandering from home.
  • Better nutrition: As their disease progresses, seniors with Alzheimer’s often experience difficulty preparing meals and manipulating silverware. Adult children might find it helpful to have an in-home caregiver to assist with these tasks. It can help ensure the senior has the benefit of a well-balanced diet.
  • Opportunity for life enrichment: Caregivers can also help organize life enrichment activities. Finding meaningful ways for the senior to spend their time will allow them to feel successful and empowered. Reminiscence therapy, craft projects, light housekeeping chores, music, and gardening are a few examples.

When Home Care Isn’t Enough

If the day comes when a loved one’s care is too difficult to safely manage at home, there is another option to consider. Communities like The Wesley offer a full continuum of care. For those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, it might be in an assisted living setting or a nursing care center. These options are designed to allow an adult with dementia to live their best quality of life. Call (518) 587-3600 for more information.