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Alzheimer's Care Through Home Care Agencies

Alzheimer's Care at Home

Home Care is most often the first choice, as many families prefer to keep their parents at home. Recognizing the need for outside help such as a companion, nursing assistant or homemaker can make this a viable option. Whether privately hiring an in-home helper or through a home care agency, Home Care allows your parent to remain in familiar surroundings with less disruption in routines resulting in reduced confusion. Home Care is generally less costly IF you are able to share in the caregiving duties. The biggest concern with this option is stress associated with the demands of caregiving. As a RN Care Manager, I have encountered many families with the best intentions simply "burn out". Neglecting other responsibilities, lacking confidence in caregiving skills, and resenting demands placed on your time, are a few predominate feelings. Remember the key to success here is allowing other caregivers to relieve you of some responsibilities.

Adult Day Care also affords your loved ones the comforts of home and at the same time gives families the respite they need. This care is usually reasonable priced and may even be subsidized by certain local resources. Offered in community centers and through some senior programs, Adult Day Care provides social, recreational, meals, and sometimes transportation services. Does this sound too good to be true? It may be if your loved one does not agree. He or she may vehemently resist going to day care only adding to your stress. I will go in to more detail for help with this problem later when addressing this option individually. Unfortunately, in some communities, day care isn't available or the center does not accept those with Alzheimer's. Due to popularity and growing demands for such care, hopefully your community is one that offers this care.

The Alzheimer's Association has a national network of chapters that provide a wealth of programs and services to persons with Alzheimer’s disease, their families and caregivers, and health care professionals. Typical programs and services offered by the Alzheimer’s Association appear below. In addition, some chapters offer special programs such as funding of local researchers, assistance to persons with Alzheimer’s who live alone, rural and/or multicultural outreach, care coordination services, and training programs for families and professionals.

Helpline - Chapters offer a telephone service that provides emotional support to the caller as well as information about Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, chapter services, and community resources.

Support groups - Peer or professionally led groups for caregivers and others dealing with Alzheimer's disease are another chapter-provided service.

Education - Chapters maintain a wealth of educational materials (brochures, videos, audiotapes, books, etc.) on topics related to Alzheimer's disease and related disorders - basic information about these conditions, getting a diagnosis, communication techniques, home safety tips, choosing a residential care setting, experiences of other caregivers, activity programming, etc.

Advocacy - Through its work in public policy and by advocating for legislative reform, the Association raises awareness about barriers to obtaining and providing quality Alzheimer care and services.

Safe Return - This national, government-funded program assists in the identification and safe, timely return of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder who wander off, sometimes far from home, and become lost.