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Dementia Care

Dementia care

An ever-growing number of individuals are affected by dementia each year. Currently around six million people in the United States and Canada are suffering from the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease.

Individuals who are in the grips of Alzheimer’s have memory loss that is substantial enough to disrupt their everyday life. They have trouble managing daily tasks, poor judgment, and a low-grasp on time and place. As a result, these individuals often require special dementia care services to ensure that they remain safe.

Types of Dementia Care

In the early stages, family members can often provide adequate dementia care for their loved ones by simply making sure they are getting enough to eat and adhering to a daily routine. It is important that you try to involve them in daily activities as much as possible without causing too much overstimulation. It is crucial that the Alzheimer’s patient still get social and sensory stimulation from a variety of sources.

As the illness progresses, the amount of supervision that is required will likely increase. When unattended, these patients may become confused and frightened; they may also wander off and not have the ability to find their way back to a safe environment. Since many people today do not have the available resources to watch over those who are dealing with these issues on a 24/7 basis, many types of dementia care have been developed to provide assistance.

The standard options for care are:

  • Family Care:  This model involves the individual who is suffering from dementia while remaining at their home or the home of a loved one. In this situation, family members provide all the care. It is important that individuals who take on this form of care realize that it is a full time job that will require 24/7 supervision as the illness gets worse. Having several different people willing to work in shifts typically works best.
  • In-Home Care:  With this care option, specially trained individuals are hired to assist inside of the patient’s home. This may vary from a few hours a week, to 24/7 live-in care.
  • Respite Care: In this situation, the patient spends brief periods of time in an assisted living facility, being cared for by professional attendants, to allow familial caregivers an opportunity to relax and regroup.
  • Facility Treatment: This involves moving your loved one to either an assisted care facility, where they will get help with day-to-day activities, or a nursing home, where they can get full-time, medically necessary treatment as needed.

 

For many, the right type of care turns out to be a combination of these options. What works for one family will not necessarily work for another. It is important to thoroughly explore all resources and come up with an option that works well for everyone involved.