In-Home Dementia Care
As our loved ones age, it’s important to ensure that they receive the best care possible. This is especially true for seniors living with dementia. Dementia can impact the ability to live independently and can be challenging for both the individual and the caregiver as symptoms progress and demands increase.
Fortunately, there is a way for your loved one to obtain the specialized dementia care they need in the comfort of their own home, where they feel most familiar, with in-home dementia care services. While this may be an emotional discussion to have, in-home dementia care can greatly benefit a loved one with dementia.
Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a decline in cognitive function, including memory, reasoning, and decision-making. It’s a progressive condition that can worsen over time. A variety of factors can cause dementia, and while common among seniors, it is not a normal part of ageing.
One of the most common forms of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. It is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and changes in mood and behaviour.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in older adults, affecting millions of people worldwide. However, it’s important to note that while dementia and Alzheimer’s are related, not all dementia is caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
The Progression Of Dementia
Caring for a loved one with dementia is an emotional journey. As dementia progresses, the needs of your loved one will increase. As this transition happens, it’s essential to be mindful of the signs that it may be time for in-home dementia care. These signs may include:
- Behavioural changes, including increased agitation, confusion, or anger
- Memory loss or inability to focus or concentrate
- Trouble making decisions
- Inability to communicate as they once did
- Difficulty with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, or eating
What Is Included in In-Home Dementia Care
In-home dementia care may look different for everyone. Some individuals in the early stages may need companionship and transportation assistance, and others in later stages of dementia may require a more hands-on approach, including practical assistance and more frequent monitoring. Below, we will go over some of the services and resources available through in-home dementia care.
Dignified Practical Assistance
An in-home dementia caregiver can provide essential assistance to seniors with dementia by helping them fulfil their daily needs. This includes providing assistance with grooming, bathing, and dressing, which can become increasingly difficult as dementia progresses. They can also help with meal preparation and feeding, making sure that your loved one is getting the nutrition they need.
Additionally, a dementia caregiver can assist with light housekeeping tasks such as laundry, bed making and cleaning to ensure a safe and comfortable environment. This may include a home safety evaluation to ensure the home is hazard-free.
Navigating Behavioral Changes
An in-home caregiver understands that the behaviours associated with dementia are often a result of the disease and not the individual’s choice. They are trained to recognize and respond appropriately to common behaviours such as confusion, agitation, and paranoia. They are also trained to respectfully and calmly de-escalate situations that may arise.
A trained caregiver’s goal is not to control the behaviour, but to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the senior. They use compassionate communication, distraction techniques, and sensory stimulation to redirect their attention and create an atmosphere of safety and security.
Companionship and Socialization
In-home caregivers can provide the companionship and socialization that are essential to well-being. They provide emotional support and engage in activities with seniors, such as playing games, going for walks, attending organized functions, or simply having a conversation and lending a listening ear. This improves a senior’s emotional well-being and aids in the delay of cognitive decline.
Additionally, by building a positive and trusting relationship with the senior, caregivers provide emotional support and help the senior feel more secure and at ease in their own home. Overall, in-home caregivers can help seniors with dementia maintain a sense of stability and normalcy, which can greatly improve their quality of life.
Establishing a Routine
In-home caregivers play a vital role in helping seniors with dementia establish a routine and continuity in their daily lives. By providing consistent, structured activities and tasks, caregivers help reduce confusion and uncertainty for seniors who may struggle with memory loss and disorientation. Caregivers can also assist with medication management, appointment scheduling, and reminders for daily activities such as grooming and eating.
Routine is particularly important for people with dementia, as it provides a sense of predictability, which can help reduce confusion and anxiety. For individuals with dementia, a consistent routine can serve as a reminder of what to expect and what is expected of them.
Many individuals with dementia no longer drive. Therefore, having a reliable caregiver to provide them with transportation assistance is a valuable resource. In-home caregivers can assist individuals with dementia with an array of transportation needs, such as getting groceries, attending appointments, or accompanying them to social functions.
Having a trusted caregiver with them as they attend these outings can be beneficial, as many people with dementia often become quickly disoriented or distraught when navigating unfamiliar places. A caregiver can provide transportation and companionship, alleviating the stress of these necessary trips.
In-home caregivers can provide dignified assistance with incontinence, a common late-stage symptom of dementia. They can observe and suggest changes to the environment that may minimize incontinence, such as relocating furniture that may obstruct the person’s path to the bathroom. They are also trained to use respectful language when providing toileting assistance, eliminating any shame or guilt a senior may have.
As a loved one of a person with dementia, you may feel responsible for your family member’s well-being, devoting countless hours to being their caregiver. However, when their needs become too much to handle alone, it can become physically and emotionally taxing. In this case, an in-home caregiver can be vital to your mental health and emotional well-being.
It’s essential for loved ones to take time to focus on themselves to rest, recharge, and address their own needs. By providing support and allowing loved ones to take a break, caregivers can help reduce the burden and stress on family members, allowing them to return to their role refreshed and better equipped to navigate the challenges associated with dementia.
Choosing to Pursue In-Home Care
Deciding to pursue in-home dementia care for a loved one can be a difficult decision to make, as it may feel like a loss of independence for them. However, it is important to remember that this type of care is uniquely designed to improve their quality of life by providing a secure and comfortable environment where their specific needs can be met.
With the support of a trained caregiver, your loved one can continue to engage in activities and social interactions that they enjoy while being compassionately cared for to ensure they remain healthy and safe in the comfort of their own home.
Discover Placita’s In-Home Dementia Care
At Placita In Home Care, our dementia care specialists are trusted professionals who prioritize the well-being of your loved one as if they were their own family. Our team is dedicated to providing compassionate and personalized care to add value to the lives of our patients in any way we can. Contact our friendly team to schedule a free consultation to learn more about in-home dementia care today.