Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that affects thinking, memory, and behavior, with symptoms becoming severe enough to affect the individual’s ability to engage in daily tasks. There are three distinct stages of Alzheimer’s:
Lasts 2 to 4 years with the individual being very independent and requiring minimal supervision or external care which the family can provide. Typically, most individuals perform activities of daily living, but they may forget some common routines/schedules or words. They, therefore, need assistance through strategies that will help them maintain their independence.
This stage spreads through a period of 2 to 10 years. The patient’s memory is greatly affected as they might not recognize familiar faces or places. Behavior changes are also evident as they might be erratic and overly aggressive. Physically, difficulties in coordination and movements begin to appear. Structured care is necessary to minimize Alzheimer’s symptoms, such as anxiety and stress.
During this stage, lasting 1 to 3 years, patients are extremely confused about current and previous events. Processing information is non-existent and verbal communication becomes very difficult. Unpredictable behavior patterns could often result in hallucinations and deliriums.
Related Article: Home Care Services: Dementia Care
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be challenging as patients with Alzheimer’s have unique care needs. Depending on the stage they are in and other factors, care options vary from nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home care. Those that opt for home care through a professional caregiver benefit from care focused on both situations and individuals.
Benefits of Home Care for Alzheimer’s Patients
Closely Monitoring Symptoms
As Alzheimer’s progresses, symptoms get worse with the individual’s age, making daily living difficult. The presence of caregivers at home reduces hospital readmission through monitoring symptoms and communicating them with healthcare experts. As such, they can readjust the care plan to accommodate changing or new symptoms.
Monitoring Behavioral Changes
Alzheimer’s patients develop significant behavioral changes, such as irritability, aggression, and erraticism. Some of these changes could result in depression or stress, making their daily lives difficult. Professional caregivers keep track of these changes and develop strategies that keep the patient stable and calm hence encouraging positive behavior.
Before a patient is assigned a caregiver from a professional home care agency, a specialized case manager evaluates the patient. The purpose of this evaluation is to assess the patient’s needs for a personalized care plan. Care plans are also updated to meet the changing needs of the patient.
Physical Therapy Support
Even for patients with cognitive conditions, physical activity is necessary for their daily activities. For Alzheimer’s patients, physical movement and coordination could affect their physical ability increasing their risk of developing complicated health issues. Using a physical therapist plan, caregivers help and support patients with their exercises and physical therapy activities.
Following and maintaining proper nutrition can be difficult for Alzheimer’s as they could confuse the various nutrition choices or entirely forget to eat. Professional caregivers will assist in planning and preparing healthy meals that meet the client’s nutritional needs. Proper nutrition will develop a strong immune system while preventing any weight-related health issues.
Respite for Family Caregivers
Primary family caregivers also need a break from care giving. A professional caregiver will assist and check in on the patient while you attend to your personal needs. Primary caregivers can handle other activities, knowing that their loved one is under the care of a professional who understands Alzheimer’s disease.
Provide Palliative Care
Alzheimer’s disease has no available cure; however, there are treatments for some of the symptoms. The nursing services provided by a caregiver ensure that patients receive prescribed medication on time. Caregivers closely monitor the patient’s response to the medication and inform healthcare practitioners of any decline signs.
Care in a Familiar Environment
Providing care at home maintains the patient’s familiarity with their environment. Following the care plan, caregivers create routines and schedules that become ingrained in the patient’s long-term memory. A familiar environment also offers the patient and their family peace of mind and security.
Assistance in Home Care Activities/Tasks
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease make it difficult for individuals to maintain a clean and safe environment. Unable to carry out ADLs, personal care, grooming, and laundry, patients require caregivers’ assistance.
Create a Comfortable Environment
Comfort within the home is important for Alzheimer’s patients as it lowers the chances of stress caused by an unfamiliar environment’s discomfort. Caregivers regularly make necessary changes to improve the patient’s comfort at home.
Social anxiety fear in an Alzheimer’s patient can result in isolation and withdrawal. Home caregivers ease such symptoms by providing tranquility and companionship. Their presence offers conversations and company, which help patients maintain a social life.
Opted for home care for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease? Professionally trained and experienced caregivers at Immaculate Home Care Services are ready and available to provide 24/7 care. Give us a call or email us today!