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The Effects of Alzheimer's On the American Family

imgres-8We all know that Alzheimer’s Dementia is one of many devastating diseases that effect our aging population. However we must acknowledge that Alzheimer’s not only targets our elders, but it also targets and affects those around them.

This is not a new concept, and it has been widely known that Alzheimer’s Dementia is a difficult experience for both the patient and the patient’s loved ones. However Judie Rappaport, founder of Preferred Lifestyle Services Geriatric Care Management, elaborates on this concept, identifying Alzheimer’s as a “Family Disease.”

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Looking at Alzheimer’s as a family disease, we can begin to truly understand the scope of how a family member with Alzheimer’s can truly affect the family unit. Lifestyle changes must take place, with families sacrificing their personal and professional time and financial resources to make sure that their loved one receives proper care and support. As a Family Disease, Alzheimer’s touches everyone who is both directly and indirectly involved in the care of a loved one, altering their daily routines and creating an emotional impact on the family unit. As Judie testifies, she has “seen families lose their life savings, enter into financial crisis, marital turmoil, even lose their homes, in order to provide the needed care.”

Having such a large strain on the family unit, Judie suggests that family members and loved ones seek assistance amongst communities and organizations that support family caregivers. However another way in which family caregiver can seek assistance is through an entity that specializes in providing care for Alzheimer’s and elderly patients.

Many families already turn to third party providers for assistance with an aging loved one. However the benefits of partnering with another provider is sometimes overlooked or unrecognized, especially for those providers who are using a home care software or home care system.

Obviously, a third party provider directly helps family caregivers by providing respite services and various types of services to assist in the daily and long-term care of an Alzheimer’s patient. However, with a home care software or home care system, a provider can help manage the impact of this “family disease” in other ways.

One way in which they can do this is by providing an online portal service for family members to stay in touch and involved in the financial and daily care records of a loved one. For example, with ClearCare’s home care software, family members are always able to check-in for updates from the care provider to make sure that their loved one is in good hands. This provides peace of mind to the family unit that would otherwise cause more strain and stress to the “family disease.”

Additionally, with ClearCare’s home care software and home care system, family members are given a shared calendar so that all members are aware of each other’s errands and appointments so that they can more effectively coordinate care for their loved one. Armed with a shared calendar centered on care and a means to coordinate schedules and tasks, family members can reap the benefits of a home care system to reduce the anxiety of having to involve and integrate multiple people in the care of their loved one.

The tools provided in a home care software or home care system are ultimately used to improve the experience of caring for a loved one. If you feel that Alzheimer’s Dementia is turning into a “family disease” for you or someone you know, make sure you contact your local care provider to see if they offer this kind of 360 degree care-technology with their existing home care system.

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Derek Jones

Derek enjoys spending time with family running road races, has completed 6-half marathons, mountain biking, and anything to do with baseball or the outdoors.