Caring for an individual with dementia can sometimes be quite daunting. As a caregiver, you will likely feel both frustrated and depressed as you recognize that your loved one isn't able to recognize their family members or is losing their memory or forgetting cherished personal memories. You might also be struggling with how to address many practical dementia care issues, including keeping your loved one comfortable as their condition progresses. This article describes some of the challenges associated with caring for an Alzheimer's patient.
As you begin to explore the different choices you have in caring for your Alzheimer's patient, it will become clear that not all strategies will work for everyone. One of the most important decisions you will need to make when caring for a dementia patient is deciding if you will be a full-time caregiver or if you will provide services on a part-time basis. In general, full-time caregivers give more attention to the needs of their loved ones and help with the day-to-day responsibilities. Part-time caregivers often do not have the time or the ability to commit to long-term dementia care. In this case, a combination of both types of care may be necessary.
When evaluating which type of caregiver is right for you and your loved one, it's important to consider both your schedule and their particular type of dementia. Full-time caregivers typically maintain a regular schedule of routine maintenance activities, which can include helping with bathing and grooming, getting dressed and using the restroom, as well as help with grocery shopping and errands. They generally have a stable of loved ones who they rely on to help them with daily tasks and responsibilities. Part-time caregivers generally spend more of their day working to support themselves, while still remaining available to take care of a significant other or another adult dependent on them. In some cases, a part-time caregiver might also need help performing other daily tasks. A full-time caregiver should be prepared to assist their Alzheimer's patient or other dementia patient in managing typical daily duties and tasks.
Another important factor to consider is whether your caregiver can adjust to your loved one progresses into Alzheimer's. Some full-time professionals may become completely overqualified in their work due to the extra responsibility, but it can also make them feel overqualified. If you or the caregiver can't adjust to this change, it could be detrimental to your caregiver's feelings about you. In some situations, your home might even end up remaining at the same location when your Alzheimer's patient or other dementia patient begins to lose their ability to control themselves.
The biggest concern of many people is the rising costs associated with dementia care. This concern is especially true in light of recent news reports that state medical expenses are expected to continue to skyrocket. The good news is that if you have Medicare or Medicaid coverage, there are more treatment options than ever before. If your loved has Medicare, Medicaid, or a special needs policy, it's especially important to discuss these options and the likely impact of your loved's advancing dementia with your doctor. You can also take advantage of helpful information available from your local Alzheimer's Association.
Many of the early Alzheimer's symptoms can be treated with medications. However, some forms of dementia can't be treated with medication or other forms of therapy. If you're concerned about the mental health of your loved, you should consider talking to a trained dementia care attorney who can provide support and advice about the many options available to you and your caregiver(s). If you can't afford an attorney, consider making an appointment with an Intake Home where professionals help you find appropriate care solutions and aid you through the transition into later stages of dementia.