Seventy percent of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease are cared for at home, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. This number is impressive, considering the number of challenges family members and family caregivers face while providing homecare for an Alzheimer’s patient.
Home care may not be the ideal solution for every Alzheimer’s patient. Making the decision to provide home care is very personal and should be carefully considered and there are a number of important factors to discuss when deciding if homecare is right for you and your family.
Things to Consider about Alzheimer’s care
Each family needs to take the individual needs of the Alzheimer’s patient into consideration when deciding on an appropriate care setting. Here are a few questions to ask:
• Is the house large enough to accommodate items that may become necessary, such as a wheelchair, chair-lift, walker, bedside toilet?
• Is the house safe for an Alzheimer’s patient? Are doors secure to prevent wandering and are necessities like heating controlled by a thermostat rather than a fireplace?
• Could necessary modifications be made easily? Can you add ramps at entryways, bathtub handrails, and maintain a comfortable routine for the person with Alzheimer’s?
• Is the family able to be available to provide care when home care providers are off-duty, or are you comfortable hiring home care providers for live-in shifts?
• Are you willing to work with a professional home care provider to implement a home care system that provides respite for you, and high quality care for your loved one?
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s will quickly take an emotional toll. It’s a full-time job that requires an incredible amount of patience and strength due to the need for 24/7 supervision as the disease progresses. Therefore, it’s important to discuss what alternatives are available when the caregiving responsibilities become too much for your family.
Home Care Options
Families may want to seek alternatives when family caregivers need to be away from the patient for an extended period of time, or if the individual with Alzheimer’s requires round-the-clock care. The best solution is to hire an agency that utilizes a robust homecare software or homecare system (such as one provided by ClearCare homecare software), allowing family members to stay updated on care in their absence.
Alzheimer’s has been described as an “insensitive” disease, meaning that the person loses their natural ability to perform personal tasks such as eating, using the restroom, and bathing. The mind of an Alzheimer’s patient simply forgets how to do these basic functions, so the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the caregiver. A reliable home care system like ClearCare outlines specific tasks and when they should be completed, eliminating bathroom accidents, skipped meals and instilling a sense of routine.