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What Types of Dementia Care Options are Available?

What Types of Dementia Care Options are Available

What Types of Dementia Care Options are Available

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are progressive conditions. As the disease advances, symptoms continue to worsen. A cure is currently unavailable for dementia, but several dementia care options are available to help support seniors diagnosed with this debilitating condition.

Dementia itself is not considered a disease. Rather, it is a term used to describe the loss of cognitive abilities, such as memory, language, problem-solving, and thinking, that are severe enough to impair a senior’s daily functioning. Alzheimer’s disease is a common cause of dementia.

Abnormal changes in the brain are responsible for dementia. In addition to causing a decline in cognitive skills, dementia adversely affects relationships, feelings, and behavior. The severe reduction in mental functioning caused by dementia is not a normal part of aging.

A senior with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to live 4 to 8 years after the diagnosis. Some dementia patients live as long as 20 years. Over the course of the illness, Alzheimer’s disease advances in three stages: early (mild), middle (moderate), and late (severe).

During the early stages, the dementia patient can still function independently, having the ability to drive, work, and participate in social activities. The middle stage is when nerve cells in the brain become damaged, making it difficult for the senior to perform routine tasks without help.

The late stage of Alzheimer’s disease causes the most severe symptoms. The senior will require constant monitoring and support with daily personal care activities. During this final stage of the disease, the dementia patient will benefit from compassionate hospice care.

Families of seniors with dementia have a range of care options from which to choose. Depending on the stage of the illness, care can be brief and intermittent, such as respite care, or extend for months, such as long-term care.

The following are viable care options for dementia patients.

Option 1: Adult Day Centers

Adult day centers for elderly individuals with dementia are helpful for family caregivers who work during the day. The day center keeps dementia patients active and social, with full schedules of music programs, exercise sessions, and plenty of opportunities to socialize.

Option 2: Long-Term Care

Seniors with dementia who prefer a communal living environment will benefit from residing in a long-term care facility. When care needs exceed what can be provided at home, a long-term care community may be the best option. Families have multiple long-term care options available.

Retirement housing is ideal for seniors in the early stages of dementia since they can function somewhat independently and require only limited supervision. Assisted living is a second long-term care option, but not all facilities are designed to meet the care needs of dementia patients.

Nursing homes provide around-the-clock medical care, which is helpful for seniors in the late stages of dementia. Memory care units, located within assisted living facilities, are designed specifically to provide care to dementia patients; however, staff training and care levels vary between memory care units.

Life plan communities serve the growing care needs of dementia patients as the disease progresses. Elderly residents move through the various levels of care (independent, assisted living, and nursing home) offered within the community as their care needs increase over the years.

Option 3: Respite Care

Respite care benefits the family caregiver, while also providing uninterrupted care to the senior with dementia. Family caregivers may schedule respite care briefly, while they take a vacation or conduct errands, for example. The family member returns to caregiving duties feeling refreshed.

Friends, relatives, volunteers, or a paid service, like a local home care agency, can provide the dementia patient with quality respite care at home. Respite care is also offered in care settings, such as an adult day center or a long-term care community.

Option 4: In-Home Care

Dementia care provided in the senior’s home is the most flexible and preferred option for seniors diagnosed with the condition. In-home care gives the elderly individual the opportunity to age in place. Living in the familiarity of a home environment promotes important feelings of security and comfort.

Services provided by home care professionals vary between home care agencies. In-home care can be nonmedical in nature, with caregivers providing help with the activities of daily living. Alternatively, home care can include medical care provided by licensed health professionals, like nurses.

Several home care services are available. Seniors who must be continually supervised or who are vulnerable to loneliness or social isolation may opt for companion care. Personal care services ensure seniors are bathed and groomed, engage in regular exercise, and eat nutritiously.

Homemaker services are designed to help older adults maintain the cleanliness of the home and shop for groceries. In-home care may also include skilled care; licensed medical professionals facilitate wound care, injections, or physical therapy. A home health care agency coordinates skilled care services.

Alzheimer's Care Milwaukee Wisconsin

When the senior in your life is diagnosed with dementia, multiple care options are available. Many families opt for the well-rated home care services provided by Assisting Hands Home Care. We provide compassionate Alzheimer’s and dementia care services in the comfort of the senior’s home.

Dementia caregivers from our home care agency are trained to identify and manage dementia symptoms in elderly care recipients. A senior who wanders is gently led back home. Incontinence issues are discreetly handled by our caregivers. We also patiently calm agitated seniors with distractions.

Memory care includes assistance with daily tasks. Caregivers shop for fresh groceries, prepare meals, provide medication reminders, perform light housekeeping, assess the home for fall risks, and help with personal care activities. We serve as pleasant companions to deter feelings of loneliness and social isolation.

Families with seniors depend on the quality in-home memory care services provided by Assisting Hands Home Care. Schedule an in-home consultation, and we’ll assess care needs and develop a flexible care plan. Call today to start reliable senior home care.