Providing optimum health and home care for Alzheimer’s patients is always a challenging issue for family and loved ones.
There are many possible choices which must be weighed carefully to achieve the best results for everyone involved.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, Seventy percent of persons with Alzheimer's disease are cared for at home. Home care can be essential to provide personal care and give the family assistance and relief to continue to care for the patient. Deciding on and finding the care needed is not always easy. It is a personal decision based on the person's needs and family situation.
For many families home care offers the most flexibility.
When compared to placing loved ones in a remote care facility far from home, the choice of paid home care represents a positive alternative for many families. This option makes it possible for family and loved ones to oversee care and stay in contact with their loved one.
The Family Factor
This is always one of the most important influences when deciding on the kind of care for the Alzheimer’s patient. It may also be at the most emotionally-charged issue family members will address.
Removal of the Alzheimer’s patient from the familiarity of regular contact with family members may affect everyone. Many loved ones may like to have close access to patients. They also often feel like they can plan visits more easily when patients are in a home care setting. The home care choice offers the advantage of providing family members with access to the patient and the patient to loved ones. Both considerations may play a vital role in the overall health and well-being of the patient.
Regular visits from loved ones may decrease anxiety and also lessen the severity of some symptoms of the disease.
The Familiarity of Home
The patient’s home offers the most comfortable environment for them. In many ways, it is the best choice of settings for achieving optimal care. Patients are familiar with the surroundings and less affected by the stress and anxiety which often accompanies being placed in a new setting. They sleep in the same bed and use the same furnishings they always have, which leads to less patient angst.
Familiarity with surroundings and people can have a beneficial effect on Alzheimer’s sufferers and has been written about in many previous journals, reports and articles.
Care Which Achieves a Higher Standard
An important consideration when evaluating care options is the ability to provide a high level of health care to patients. Loved ones are often able to determine if standards are being met and alter or add to care regimens faster and more effectively.
Patient health and well-being considerations can be addressed in a faster, more consistent manner. This results in a better standard of care and addresses the needs of the patient more efficiently.
Customized Home Care
Being able to tailor personal home care to the needs of the patient is attractive to loved ones. Home care for the Alzheimer’s patient can be modified at any time. Patient services can be added, streamlined and changed as necessary. Appropriate care options like bathing, dressing, and preparing meals can be implemented or altered.
Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s require different kinds and levels of nursing assistance and care. Some may need semi-regular care, while others may require concentrated 24/7 attention. Other factors like providing housekeeping and trips to physicians and social events can be tailored to each individual by the home care provider.
The Physical Considerations
One of the most underestimated effects of Alzheimer’s on family members is the scope of physical requirements needed by family members and care providers. Caring for patients with Alzheimer’s is intensely physical. At times, family members may not have the knowledge or physical stamina to afford the patient adequate care. Taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient can run the gamut of being moderately taxing to extremely challenging.
This may be the most insurmountable obstacle that can be encountered by anyone charged with providing care to the patient. It is a prerequisite quality required in all caregivers. It is also extremely stressful on family and loved ones to struggle with the physical demands required to deal with Alzheimer’s patients.
The Mental Concerns
Dealing with continual requests for food or drink, irrational behavior and questions about friends or family – real or perceived - and constant administering/monitoring of medications are just a few of the mental challenges asked of people caring for Alzheimer’s patients.
It is also perhaps the most difficult duty called for when caring for patients. It is no wonder that some family members of Alzheimer’s sufferers simply get worn-out from exhaustion when providing care on a regular basis.
Each of these concerns is a major factor in making a good choice for the care of the Alzheimer’s patient. When evaluated as a collective, all of these considerations point towards private home care as one of the best alternatives for many patients.