Providing homecare services for clients that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s presents a unique set of circumstances. While a large sector of the elderly may suffer from memory loss to some degree, those afflicted by Alzheimer’s are battling with remembering the faces of their own children. Thus, service tailored for Alzheimer’s homecare clients must be structured, well documented and provided by a well-trained, patient caregiver.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is an incurable form of dementia that affects an individual’s memory, behavior and thinking patterns. The affects of Alzheimer’s typically become worse over time and interfere with an individual’s ability to complete normal activities of daily living, as well as their ability to recognize typically familiar people. By no means is Alzheimer’s a normal part of aging, and providing care for those afflicted can be a high stress task for both family and professional caregivers.
Providing Quality Care for Clients with Alzheimer’s
When family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease choose to contract with your homecare agency to provide additional care, it is imperative to know the intricacies of Alzheimer’s care.
Eliminate as many distractions as possible when communicating with Alzheimer’s clients. Turn off the television, make eye contact and speak clearly, using simple phrases. Use a calm tone of voice and listen closely to the client’s reply.
Prepare for bathing assistance by putting all of the supplies near the bath. Realize that many people with Alzheimer’s may find bathing an intimidating experience, as they are unable to process the need to wash for hygiene. Clearly explain what is being done, and be patient if the client becomes frightened.
Maintain a dressing schedule. Like anyone else, routine helps provide structure for individuals with Alzheimer’s. Provide clients with a limited selection of clothing, or select outfits for them in fabrics that are comfortable and easy to put on and take off.
While some individuals with Alzheimer’s have a constant appetite, some refuse to eat. Professional caregivers should use mealtimes as a chance to interact positively with clients. Provide healthy, well-liked food options and allow plenty of time for eating. Individuals who are difficult eaters can also be offered snacks throughout the day to help increase healthy caloric intake.
For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, and where to find training for your home health aides and companions, contact the Alzheimer’s Association.
The ClearCare Advantage in Alzheimer’s Care
While logging the completion of tasks in care journals is important for all clients, tracking the daily activities of a client with Alzheimer’s becomes even more so. Family members need to know how much a loved one has eaten, whether or not they have bathed and what activities have taken place that day.
While the non-completion of these tasks in some home may indicate poor time management, non-completion with an Alzheimer’s clients may indicate agitation, combativeness or resistance on the part of the client. With ClearCare, each time a task is marked as “Incomplete,” professional caregivers must provide a reason for the incompletion. This voice recording, via telephony use, or typed document provided via smartphone/tablet use gives both care managers and family members a better understanding of how Alzheimer’s clients are reacting to homecare services.
ClearCare provides caregivers the ability to track the completion of care activities throughout the day via with the logged information immediately available to care managers and family members. This access allows family members to maintain an open line of communication with homecare agencies, ensuring the best possible care is being provided to those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease.
ClearCare Can Help You Secure Clients
By assuring potential clients that you can track the daily activities of their loved one, and provide them with access to that information instantaneously, you’ll have the upper hand as a transparent, highly accountable agency. The point-of-care logging provided by ClearCare is a step above the rest, and when you’re working with clients that require extra attention, we’re here to provide the software to back you up.