Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are progressive disorders that result in memory loss. These chronic medical conditions generally affect individuals in middle and later life, with millions of individuals being diagnosed worldwide each year. Following a diagnosis, your family may have to make a choice regarding the care of your loved one. For example, will your loved one eventually need to transition to a long-term care setting or will care be provided at home. The following are five considerations when you are selecting home care for your loved one with a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease:
Home Care Assistance Options for Alzheimer’s or Dementia
There are several options for home care assistance for your loved one who has a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Care options include supervision, recreational activities, and social activities. Your loved one may also receive assistance with activities of daily living (ADL’s). With this type of care, home care assistance helps your loved one with meal planning and preparation, bathing, transport, and shopping. For those experiencing mild to severe symptoms, other options are available such as medical care services, usually provided by a nurse who makes home visits.
If you are looking for home care services for your loved one, you might start by obtaining general information online or directly contact local providers; however, the best source of information is your loved one’s primary physician. Your loved one’s doctor will determine the stage and severity of the dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and recommend the best care options. In addition to your loved one’s primary care provider, you can locate online resources with reliable information on specialist care providers in your area who have a distinction for providing memory care.
Safety Planning for Dementia In-Home Care
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease affects a person’s brain in several ways that can result in safety concerns. In fact, both dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease can impact your loved one’s judgment, cause memory loss, disorientation, and confusion. These disorders can also alter a person’s sense of smell and touch. In practical terms, a person may confuse what they see and hear or have an inability to determine water temperature, resulting in serious injuries for your loved one.
There are best practices that you can implement to ensure the safety of your loved one while he or she is living at home. For example, you might secure dangerous household items, post emergency numbers on the fridge, and lock up any potentially hazardous items, such as medicines, alcohol, cleaning products, power tools, and detergents. When possible, your loved one’s environment should be adapted to facilitate safety with mobility. Consider turning stairs into ramps, and highlighting doors and handrails with bright colors are effective strategies to prevent falls.
Dementia Home Care Benefits
Most individuals want to remain in the home for as long as possible. The home is a place of familiarity and comfort; even if your loved one’s senses and perceptions have been impacted by Alzheimer’s or dementia, he or she can benefit from the space’s familiarity, which can significantly improve your loved one’s quality of life.
To facilitate the benefits of Dementia home care, companion services are also available to help personalize your loved one’s daily social and physical interactions. Companion service providers can assist with prescription, pain management, and emotional support. This level of home care support can be of great benefit for your loved one and the family.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia Home Care Cost
While in-home care offers a range of benefits and possibilities, it is important to have a full picture of the services, including cost. Home care can be expensive, especially when you factor in home modifications that may be needed to safely care for your loved one. There may also be future home adaptations as your loved one’s condition progresses.
Another important consideration is that your loved one may mistrust home caregivers who must come into the home to provide care. This can create anxiety, particularly as your loved one’s condition progresses. This scenario is exacerbated by the fact that the caregiving sector is generally underfunded and prone to high turnover. One final consideration is the lack of social interaction your loved one may have as their condition declines.
Cost of In-Home Dementia Care and How to Pay
Home care can be expensive. On average, home care organizations will charge between $20 and $25 per hour. Further costs include prescription costs, medications, personal supplies, safety expenses, and other miscellaneous costs. All of this can cost around $10,000 on average.
Usually, you or your loved one will pay for these services from your own pocket or from insurance, retirement funds, asset liquidation, financial assistance, or savings plans. Other options include Medicare, but they will only provide limited care specific to needs. Depending on where you live there may also be alternative funding available and programs that may be helpful, such as veteran’s programs.