A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can bring about many feelings for someone diagnosed and his or her family. The impact on family members can be so dramatic that coping with the reality brings on unconscious denial. It is a normal reaction to facing overwhelming changes in a loved one.
Many families presented with a dementia diagnosis decide having their loved at home and becoming their caregiver is the best way to help them. It is comforting to a patient, keeping someone at home in a familiar environment, with established routines. It may seem more economical and safer. But as an Alzheimer patient’s condition progresses, accidents can happen. The consequences can be dramatic.
If a fall occurs, for example, an injury can lead to large bills and more complicated care than before. This may require trips to the physician’s or therapist’s office or even a stay at a rehabilitation facility, increasing costs dramatically. If a kitchen accident happens, there may be needed repairs, further disrupting the home environment and the family routines.
These risks need not change a family’s decision to remain at home but it is important to consider getting assistance. It’s never too early, or too late, to get help. In-home help refers to paid caregivers who provide assistance for a loved one who is infirm. Dementia is the leading reason for this kind of help. Depending on the needs of the individual, companion care can come in for a few a week or if the need is great, live-in skilled nursing care.
When investigating in-home care, consider what tasks are needed, what budget is available and what time is most critical. Remember, by getting some help around the house, you’ll be freed up to focus on your loved ones and on things only you can do for the family.
Other options to ponder are adult day programs and respite care. Adult day care offers a variety of activities, some including a meal, in a safe social environment. Respite care provides a temporary living arrangement for your loved one, giving you time to rest, relax and restore your own energy.
For many, Alzheimer’s is a long process that brings daily challenges, seeking help may just be the best thing you can do for the whole family.