It can be an overwhelming situation, and a state of conflicting emotions, when you have to care for a loved elderly with Alzheimer’s disease. The Family Caregiver Alliance reports that caregivers looking after victims of Alzheimer’s are likely to face higher stress levels and burden compared to other caregivers because of the physical and mental limitations of the care recipients.
And as the disease progresses, it becomes even more important to improve communication with the loved one, learn how to handle emotions and find support through in-home care services and independent organizations. The following care options can help you cope with the complexities involved:
1. Assisted living
Assisted living can be a viable option if you have a full-time job or children to take care up. These are basically residential care units/facilities that include around the clock patient supervision and they are ideal for elderly in middle Alzheimer’s stage.
However, you may not get similar services in each assisted living facility, so you can ask questions from the facility such as what services are included in the monthly bill and how they care for the patients with Alzheimer’s and other brain-affecting conditions.
2. Home-based care
Home-based care will allow your loved elderly to attain some level of independence because of familiar surroundings. Professionals from home care services can provide one-one-one care based on the interest, behavior and ability of your loved one.
In-home care can also include medical assistance where the professional caregiver will administer pain management, physical therapy and other medical needs to minimize the behavior difficulties in Alzheimer’s. Most caregiver companies can provide a combination of medical and non-medical home-based care services.
3. Support groups
Your loved one(s) has you to listen and provide support throughout the day, but they also need support groups, where they can talk honestly and openly without any worries. Support groups might even be more comfortable for the patients than family and friends because they involve individuals who are living with similar conditions.
There are several support groups and organizations facilitating them throughout the U.S., for patients as well as caregivers. For example, the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter provides facilitation of more than 100 support groups throughout the state. Caregivers can join and engage in discussion about handling behavioral and medical problems of Alzheimer’s patients. The attendees can also benefit from community socialization and on-going research updates for the disease.
4. Nursing homes
Nursing homes are the resort for elderly who are completely dependent upon you. This usually happens when the patient is in the advanced Alzheimer’s stages, and 24 hour care becomes a necessity in this case. Nursing facilities will help your loved one with daily living tasks such as bathing, toileting and moving.
Before choosing a nursing facility, think about the kind of services that will be required for your loved one. You can also discuss the kind of care that will be required and how often directly with the nursing home professionals.
It can be a challenging task to comfort an elderly with Alzheimer’s disease, but the right options will ensure your loved one receives appropriate care and is able to enjoy a quality life even with the condition.