It used to be almost inevitable that those with dementia would end up in a long-term care facility as symptoms progressed. While this may still be the right care option for many, for others, receiving dementia care at home may provide greater benefits. This doesn’t mean that family members or friends need to be the sole caregivers. A high-quality home care program can help your loved one with dementia age in place safely and comfortably. This type of care may look different for each person. Some will benefit from having a companion visit a few hours a week to help with household chores and assistance with getting to appointments while others many need a full-time aide to provide help with everyday routines.
Why home care for seniors with dementia?
Some reasons to consider in-home care for seniors with dementia include:
- It allows the person with dementia to remain in a familiar setting. People with dementia often struggle with change. Helping them to remain at home can prevent negative behaviors that may be triggered from change.
- In-home assistance for dementia patients helps ensure that the senior is safe while at home and out in public.
- A home care aide can help the senior with bathing, toileting, and other hygiene needs.
- Home care can provide well needed respite for family and friends who serve as caregivers.
- An aide can be available to help with additional support for the family caregiver when the senior attends events outside of the home, such as family outings.
- A well-trained home care aide can provide assistance with recreational activities for the senior with dementia including keeping them involved in their favorite hobbies by finding ways to modify them to meet them at their cognitive level.
- Help with medication management and other medical needs.
What to look for when hiring a home care company for seniors with dementia
There are many home care companies offering many different types of services. Some only provide in-home companions, some provide home health care and some provide both types of care. When interviewing potential at-home dementia care agencies, consider the following:
- What stage of Alzheimer’s or other cognitive impairment your loved one is in. A person with early stage Alzheimer’s will need a different level of support than someone in the middle or end stage. Maybe right now your loved one only needs support with getting to the grocery store and remembering to take their medications while another person may need full-time help to get through every aspect of their daily routine. Make a list of the care needs you need to address and ask how the Home Care company will address each of those needs. Also, if your loved one is in the early stages, ask if the company will be able to handle the more intensive home care needs of those with advanced dementia/Alzheimer’s.
- Background checks and references. Can the home care company provide references for you to speak with? Does the company conduct criminal background checks? Ask around and do some online sleuthing to find out as much as you can about the company’s reputation and the employees it hires.
- Meet with prospective home care companies at your or your loved one’s home. Conducting the interviews in the home where care will be provided allows the home care company to assess safety needs and to get a glimpse of how they interact with your loved one.
- Will your loved one have the same caregivers all the time? This is important because, as mentioned earlier, those with dementia often struggle with change. Having someone your loved one is familiar and comfortable with can be very beneficial in helping them feel safe and secure and preventing challenging behaviors. It also allows the caregivers to really get to know your loved one and what their preferences are.
Paying for In-Home Dementia Care
Medicare may help cover certain in-home health services. To learn more about Medicare coverage, visit Medicare.gov.
If you need help evaluating whether in-home dementia care is the best option for you and your loved, please contact Abramson Senior Care’s Edna Young Gordon Healthy Brain and Memory Center at 484-756-8700. You can also read more about our home health care services now.