memory loss and brain aging due to dementia and alzheimer

How to Be Sure Your Home Nursing Care Provider Understands Memory Care

If your loved one suffers from memory loss, Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia, be sure your caregiver understands the principles of memory care.

Are you seeking home nursing care that specializes in memory care? Experts estimate that one in every ten individuals over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s and in 2017, a total of approximately 5.5 million Americans faced the life changes it can bring.

Your loved one will need your help to maintain some semblance of a normal life. Caring for this person can be emotionally draining, on top of whatever physical needs they may have. If your loved one has an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, you have a heavy responsibility on your shoulders, but you don’t have to go through it alone.

The Good News

Hopefully, it offers you some encouragement to know that over half the patients who have Alzheimer’s continue living at home, in familiar surroundings. This is especially true for those patients recently diagnosed or in the middle phases of the disease.

With the right nursing care provider, your loved one can remain in a familiar setting and be able to move about freely without restrictions.

Does Your Nursing Care Provider Understand Memory Care?

It’s important for whoever is providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia has the proper training in the basics for caring with someone suffering from memory loss.

If you’re interviewing independent in-home caregivers, ask about their experience dealing with Alzheimer’s and what sort of training they’ve had. If you’re considering an agency, find out how much training they offer their in-home nurses and aides.

Basics of Alzheimer’s Care

For Alzheimer’s or dementia patients, having a daily routine and a consistent schedule helps. This includes having the same person come in each day at the same time. Serve meals as close to the same time of day every day as possible.

Carry out routine walks or any favorite activity at the expected time. Even if it’s not a daily event, you should try to make sure it happens on the same day each week.

It’s also important to keep your loved one oriented to the proper time, the right day and the identity of each person they encounter.

If you’ve got the right provider, they should also know ways to make sure stress is at a minimum. Stressful situations can make the symptoms of Alzheimer’s even worse.

Home Nursing Care vs. Home Memory Care

Depending on the physical needs of your loved one, home nursing care often consists of helping with the daily activities of living, such as bathing, dressing and eating. It may also include some light housekeeping, errand-running or cooking meals.

In the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s this care is usually sufficient. But as the disease worsens, more in-depth care will be necessary.

Home memory care involves the caregiver being knowledgeable about the disease and familiar with how the symptoms manifest. They should know typical behaviors to look for and the strategies to handle them. There must also be a discussion on safety issues, depending on the level of dementia present.

The care plan of a patient with dementia should reflect their day-to-day needs. It typically includes activities designed to stimulate the memory, such as looking at family pictures, reading, doing art or puzzles or listening to music. Development of the care plan and list of activities should keep the patient’s likes and dislikes in mind.

Patient Needs Change as the Disease Progresses

Your loved one will have certain needs, and these will change as they progress through the stages of Alzheimer’s. There are three definitive, recognizable stages of this disease. The level of care is dependent on where they are in this process. It’s important the home nursing care provider you hire is familiar with all three stages.

Early Stage – 2-4 Years

While your loved one may need some assistance with things like money or medication management and keeping up with appointments, they’re generally able to handle most daily activities, like getting dressed, cooking and cleaning. They may forget a common word every now and again and need some gentle reminders to help with their memory.

Middle Stage – 2-10 Years

The memory is much more noticeably affected during this stage. Your loved one may not be able to recognize familiar faces or may get lost, even in a familiar area. Their mood and behaviors may be erratic, and you may see aggression and a lack of inhibition that wasn’t present before.

When they reach this phase, they will typically need increased assistance with daily activities like getting dressed and eating. This is when a heavily structured schedule becomes very important.

Late Stage – 1-3+ Years

By the time the patient gets to the late-stage of the disease, they usually require round-the-clock care. They are easily confused concerning both the past and the present. They no longer have the ability to process information and often become unable to communicate. Their moods and behaviors are wildly unpredictable and often uncontrollable. It’s during this late phase that many Alzheimer’s patients require the intensive care provided by a memory care facility.

Know Your Memory Care Options: It’s Important to Research

If you’re looking for home nursing care for your loved one with memory issues, it’s important to conduct thorough research before making any decision. Don’t be shy about asking for references or work experience and training. It’s vital that whoever you hire is properly qualified and has the knowledge needed to care for a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

The demand for memory care continues to rise. If you have a loved one experiencing the beginning stages of dementia, it’s best not to wait until you’re in crisis mode to start looking for a solution. By starting early, you have the luxury of time, so you can find the best home nursing care provider for your loved one.

If you’ve decided it’s time to consider your best options for memory care, it’s time for a conversation with our team of compassionate experts at Celestial Care. Get in touch with us online now or call 602.375.8880 to get exceptional care in your own home. Our team will work closely with you to meet your specific needs and requests. It’s our priority to provide the customized in home nursing care to help your loved one live the best life possible.

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