Keeping Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s or Dementia at Home

It’s your worst nightmare, you’re at an important business meeting and the police

show up at your office to tell you that they need to speak to you. Your mom went to the grocery store and then got lost. She is now wandering around the neighborhood and refuses to get into their squad car. The police need you to come with them so that the three of you can talk her into leaving the scene. You leave work immediately and head to the location where your mother is situated. On your way there, you begin wondering if your mom has dementia or Alzheimer’s. You think back to the warning signs and feel nauseated when you think back to the fact that she has been acting weird for the past five months. She has become more forgetful and fell all the time. She alternates between happiness, depression, anger, calmness, and irritability. Most days she refuses to eat and has lost a lot of weight. She also sees and talks to deceased friends and relatives. She also seems very confused, at times and at other times she is quite lucid. You’re worried, but don’t know what to do. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you are not alone. Millions of individuals are faced with the prospect of caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, and they wonder what they should do.

First and foremost, get your mom to the doctor and get a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Dementia is a blanket diagnosis that includes a myriad of symptoms including loss of reasoning skills and memory. Alzheimer’s can fall under dementia. The good news is that there are new medications that can help slow the onset or progression of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. By having an adequate treatment plan in place, your mom will be better equipped to deal with her diagnosis.

Once you have a firm diagnosis, the next step is to decide as to how you’ll oversee her medical care. By including your mom in your decision-making progress as to whether you move her to an assisted living home or hire someone to help at her own home, she’ll be more likely to agree to the treatment.

Keep in mind that keeping your loved one at home offers excellent benefits to the family as well as the patient. For instance, most individuals prefer to stay in their own home because they are familiar with their surroundings. Their homes are their places of refuge, and they are comfortable at home and feel secure. They even seem less disoriented at home.

By staying at home, individuals feel as if they have more control over their lives, which helps prevent problems with anxiety and agitation. They don’t have to follow the rules of a facility.

Additionally, when individuals are at home, they can maintain positive relationships with people whom they love. Relationships with family, friends, and neighbors are not interrupted, and they can still see those individuals that are close to them. Moving your loved one to a facility puts physical barriers between the loved one and his/her social network. Often their friends and family members are much farther away and may not be able to visit as often as they did before which can lead to intense feelings of loneliness.

Staying at home has been shown to slow the progress of the disease, especially if the person remains active. An at-home care arrangement sometimes requires the intervention of caretakers, whether they are family members or professionals such as The Nurses Guild.

Finally, Alzheimer’s patients or those with dementia who stay at home for as long as possible, live longer on the average. According to the Boston Globe, “People who are moved to a nursing facility are two to three times more likely to die than those who are kept at home. The longer they stay at home, the less likely they are to transition when moved to a facility.

But what if you cannot take care of your loved one? Help is available. Home health agencies, such as The Nurses Guild, can provide a wide variety of services, from housecleaning and cooking to personal care, such as bathing and dressing, as well as professional medical care. These trained caretakers provide protection, companionship, and assistance in walking. They monitor medications and encourage activities. They keep the home environment safe to prevent falls.

In conclusion, keeping your loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia at home has many benefits. If you decide to keep them at home, consider hiring a professional organization like The Nurses Guild today.