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How Dementia Caregivers Can Get Help

By Mark Schmidt, 9:00 am on August 12, 2019

Family caregivers for senior loved ones with dementia tend to find they need more help providing care as the dementia progresses. While you might have felt fine just checking in on your loved one in the early stages, you may have now reached the point where your loved one needs care for the majority of the day. You may also need help caring for a senior in the earlier stages of dementia if you need to work or you’re recognizing the signs of caregiver burnout in yourself. These strategies can help you find the assistance your loved one needs to continue to live at home with dementia.

Identify the Most Important Needs

Your first step is to know what kind of help you need to care for your loved one. For instance, you may need someone to just give you a break now and then. Alternatively, you may need someone to spend the night with your loved one while you sleep. Write down a list of your loved one’s most important needs so you can use it to identify people who can help.

Having a professional caregiver nearby can give you peace of mind about your loved one’s safety. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same home care. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Be Upfront About Your Loved One’s Symptoms

Anyone who cares for your loved one needs to be prepared to handle the tasks that are required. Try not to gloss over serious symptoms such as aggression and agitation, since this could cause you to have someone help who isn’t properly trained to manage these symptoms. Instead, be clear about your loved one’s needs, and be prepared to offer a few suggestions about how you handle situations so your loved one benefits from continuity in his or her care.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Tucson seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Talk to Your Family

Most caregivers start by reaching out to their family members. Think about the people in your family who live nearby and carefully consider their skills and personalities to see who could help. For instance, your brother may be able to drop off a few meals each week to help your loved one avoid having to cook. Alternatively, your sister could give you an hour off from your caregiving duties each week so you can go to a support group.

Check into Community Programs

Many community programs offer some type of assistance with senior care. For instance, meal drop-off programs have volunteers who bring seniors food and spend a few minutes chatting. You may also find programs that offer volunteer companions who take seniors on outings. However, keep in mind you need to be cautious about using volunteer programs if your loved one has progressed to a more severe stage of dementia, since the person who comes may not be fully trained to prevent wandering.

Work with a Home Care Agency

Home care agencies are a rich resource that can help you connect with a professional in-home caregiver who is trained and ready to handle any task. While family members or volunteers may suddenly cancel when they’ve promised to show up, you can trust a professional caregiver to arrive on time. You can also enjoy knowing your loved one is in the most competent hands possible and the caregiver can continue to provide assistance as the dementia progresses.

Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Tucson homecare services provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Call Home Care Assistance at (520) 276-6555 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.