Alzheimer's disease is a crippling condition that is most commonly present in elderly people. Individuals that have been struck with this neurological disease lose much of their capacity to enjoy life and achieve simple tasks, and they may experience significant psychological and physiological distress because of their condition. While it's possible that the memory loss associated with Alzheimer's can be reversed with specialized treatment methods, most people that have this neurodegenerative condition will never recover, and they will need specialized care for the rest of their lives to ensure that they don't become a danger to themselves or to others. Thankfully, caregiving services like Mom’s Home Care exist that can give seniors with Alzheimer's a new lease on life, and in this guide, we'll introduce you to everything that you need to know about live-in caregiving and other types of care that can be provided for elderly Alzheimer's patients in need.
The Importance of Compassionate Alzheimer's Caregiving
When a person has Alzheimer's disease, every aspect of life becomes more difficult. From remembering to shop for food to walking to the bathroom to taking care of things around the house, people with this neurodegenerative disease become incapable of doing the things that they once were capable of accomplishing easily. If left to their own devices, people with later stages of Alzheimer's may hurt themselves or fail to perform basic grooming tasks, which is why it is so important to make sure that elderly Alzheimer's patients have the care that they need.
Caregivers can take care of every aspect of an Alzheimer's patient's day. Whether they need help cooking breakfast, doing the laundry, or washing themselves, it's part of a caregiver's passion and duty to handle every aspect of day-to-day life for people who have been stricken with this disease. What's most important when a person has Alzheimer's, however, is evoking a sense of genuine empathy and compassion. An effective caregiver will not only take care of daily tasks, but they will do so with a positive demeanor and attention to detail that makes an elderly person feel that they are being truly cared for like a loved one instead of just tended to like an inanimate object.
Effective caregivers have been thoroughly screened to ensure that they have the organizational and emotional skill set necessary to provide tender care to elderly people in need, and they have dedicated their lives to taking care of all of the important duties that patients with Alzheimer's simply can't do anymore. If one of your loved ones has Alzheimer's, the best thing that you can do is to set them up with a live-in companion that they can trust and depend on for comfort and protection.
Components of Live-In Care
Qualified home care providers are ready and willing to offer a number of different services to Alzheimer's patients in need. They can take care of practically any requirement that an elderly person may have, and some of the services that they offer include:
- Bathing: As people get older, the simple mechanical movements that they were once capable of making with ease become harder and harder. This situation is especially apparent in the case of people with Alzheimer's; not only are their bodies in the process of breaking down and becoming incapable of basic movements, but they may also forget key aspects of the bathing process such as how to use soap or turn on the water. In some cases, Alzheimer's patients can develop an irrational fear of water, so they may react with terror to the concept of a bath or shower. In these instances, having a conscientious caregiver at their side is one of the only things that can help Alzheimer's patients get over their hurdles and care for themselves effectively. Since people with Alzheimer's often spend much of their days sedentary or in bed, careful grooming is a necessity, and caregivers will take it as an implicit part of their duties to ensure that their elderly charges are kept clean and comfortable.
- Dressing: People with Alzheimer's often have trouble dressing themselves. After all, the process of getting dressed is relatively complicated, and the able-minded simply take for granted the complex motions that they need to undertake to become presentable to the world. As Alzheimer's harms an elderly person's nervous system, they may forget how to dress themselves, or they may irrationally refuse to get dressed. In these cases, gentle, persistent coaxing what is required to make sure that elderly patients clothe themselves properly, and it may even become necessary for caregivers to dress Alzheimer's patients from head to toe. Caregivers also know the importance of specialized clothes for elderly people, and they may recommend innovative solutions like elderly shoes or adaptive clothing, which both make the process of getting dressed much easier for elderly people. If Alzheimer's patients are still capable of dressing themselves, caregivers can assist in the process by carefully organizing and laying out the clothes that their charges will wear for the day.
- Grooming: Effective grooming can also become a challenge for people with Alzheimer's. While many types of grooming serve purely aesthetic purposes, others are unavoidable parts of life that leave elderly people extremely uncomfortable if they are not accomplished effectively and conscientiously. When a caregiver works with a person with Alzheimer's, they keep in mind that careful grooming is very important to seniors, and they perform basic tasks like shaving with significant attention to detail. They can also perform basic functions like clipping the toenails and fingernails of Alzheimer's patients, and they can apply hair products in the exact way that their charges desire. A big part of the grooming process for caregivers is conscientious product picking; while a patient with Alzheimer's may insist on being shaved with a straight razor, these razors can be dangerous when used on people with this neurodegenerative disease. Caregivers have the tact to let their charges down gently and suggest a safer or more applicable option.
- Shopping: Going out into the world is one of the biggest challenges posed to people with Alzheimer's. Even if they are relatively functional in their home environments, the sounds, sights, and smells of the social sphere have a way of making elderly Alzheimer's patients experience extreme distress. In light of this source of confusion and difficulty, qualified caregivers are also capable of taking care of all of an Alzheimer's patient's shopping needs. Whether it's picking up groceries at the supermarket or buying new clothes, caregivers can handle every aspect of interaction with the outside world, and they can also take care of errands like shipping packages and returning library books. That way, people with Alzheimer's can stay in their home environments where they are safe both physically and psychologically.
- Cooking: Even if Alzheimer's patients like the process of cooking, the memory issues that they experience can make the process of preparing meals disastrous. Not only is it possible to forget basic ingredients and ruin meals, but there are also plenty of ways that forgetful people can harm themselves in the kitchen. Many kitchens feature open flames, and knives are necessary for practically every aspect of the cooking process. With all of these dangers to consider, it's best if caregivers are given free reign to take over cooking operations, and conscientious caregivers will do just that. From preparing basic meals at breakfast to cooking dinner for the entire family when they come over to visit, caregivers can handle every aspect of the food preparation process to make sure that Alzheimer's patients receive proper nutrition and avoid any potential accidents. Caregivers can also run out to the store to acquire ingredients and cooking implements if the situation calls for it. Qualified caregivers know all about the foods that are best for the continued neurological health of Alzheimer's patients, and they craft meal plans that are designed to keep elderly people as comfortable and healthy as possible.
- Housekeeping: When elderly people have Alzheimer's disease, taking care of basic tasks around the house can be nearly impossible. However, many Alzheimer's patients understandably want to stay in their homes instead of moving to assisted living environments, and caregivers are there to help make this dream a reality. Whether the task at hand is arranging for someone to mow the lawn or dusting the knick-knacks over the mantle, caregivers can take care of every aspect of keeping an Alzheimer's patient's house neat and tidy. Effective caregivers will keep a home looking just as nice as it did before their charge came down with their debilitating neurological disease, and they can also ensure that important forms of home upkeep are looked after. For instance, caregivers can perform basic stove maintenance, clean out refrigerators, and keep the kitchen area looking sparkling clean. They can also take care of laundry needs whether it's blankets or intimates that need to be washed. They can take out the trash, clean the bathrooms, and take care of an Alzheimer's patient's pets. Whichever service needs to be rendered to keep an elderly person's home clean and beautiful, caregivers have what it takes to deliver services that will keep their charges comfortable and happy.
- Medication reminders: Remembering to take your medication is difficult no matter what age you may be, but remembering which medications to take at which times becomes even harder as you age. When an elderly person has Alzheimer's, this process becomes even more difficult since this disease directly attacks the memory of an affected person. Therefore, an effective caregiver is a caregiver who makes sure that their charge takes his or her medication on time. Caregivers learn all about a person's medication intake when they are given a new assignment, and they will communicate with an Alzheimer's patient's doctor or pharmacy to receive detailed medication instructions if necessary. To ensure that no medication errors are made, caregivers keep pharmaceuticals in safe places. This practice makes it impossible for their elderly charges to come across their medication and take too much by mistake.
Intimate Care without Holding Back
When a person has Alzheimer's, going to the bathroom can become an uncomfortable issue. Alzheimer's patients may be incapable of going to the bathroom by themselves, and they may experience a significant degree of discomfort surrounding the prospect of having someone help them with this intimate process. Effective caregivers make sure to preserve an elderly person's dignity as they ensure that their elimination processes go smoothly throughout the day, and they provide gentle reassurance when the process of going to the bathroom becomes hard or stressful. Toileting is a part of a normal day for a caregiver, and they will treat this sensitive process with all of the respect that it deserves.
Keeping Nurses a Phone Call Away
One of the biggest issues that faces people with Alzheimer's is their inability to call for help when they need it. They may forget how to use a telephone, or it may simply not occur to them to seek help when they are in distress. Having a caregiver on and at all times of the day and night ensures that medical assistance can be called at a moment's notice if it becomes apparent that there is a medical emergency. In many cases, on-call nursing services are offered by the same organizations that offer caregiving services, which makes arranging nursing care especially easy if you work with one of these organizations.
Assistance with Doctor's Requests
While caregivers can certainly help Alzheimer's patients receive their medication at the correct intervals, they can also help with other requests that a patient's doctor may have made. In some cases, for instance, it is absolutely vital that Alzheimer's patients perform certain exercises or movements throughout the day, and caregivers can make sure that these movements are accomplished and provide assistance in articulating limbs and going for short walks. If the doctor of an Alzheimer's patient makes any further requests, caregivers can be counted on to remember these requirements and fit them into an elderly person's daily schedule.
How to Find Alzheimer's Care Near Me
The only way to ensure with certainty that elderly Alzheimer's patients will get the care they need is to hire the services of qualified and compassionate caregivers. The caregivers at Mom's Home Care are thoroughly screened to ensure that they will be capable of discharging their duties carefully and effectively, and they know exactly what it takes to ensure that people with Alzheimer's remain comfortable and as in control of their own lives as possible. To learn more about the services that Mom's Home Care can offer, call 323-244-4789 today.