What Are the Best Senior Care Options for a Loved One with Alzheimer's or Dementia?
When a family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, their life isn’t the only one that changes; your family members’ lives change, too. Caring for a loved one with these diagnoses is a huge challenge. As their symptoms progress, they become more and more dependent on care, which might be hard to manage if you work full time or live far away.
Fortunately, there are a few different levels of care for each stage of your loved one’s journey. In this article, you’ll learn more about which care options are best for seniors in the early and progressed stages of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and which choice could be right for your loved one.
Early Stage Options
At-Home Care With Family Members or Friends
Sometimes the best place to be is at home. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, at-home care with family members or friends is the ideal way to ensure a loved one is comfortable with their surroundings and adjusting to life with new challenges.
Also, familiar locations help your loved one stay calm and maintain some independence. While the comforts of home are beneficial, you also need to keep in mind that some adjustments will need to be made in order to make sure a senior with Alzheimer’s or dementia is safe. Your loved one needs an environment that is easy to navigate. For example, they may need a room close to the restroom to prevent any confusion finding it at night. You also might want to think about getting an alarm system that beeps when doors are opened, so you’re aware when someone goes outside.
As you bring your loved one into your home or adjust their home to better suit a lifestyle with Alzheimer’s or dementia, make sure you consider their needs carefully. Think about what’s best and easiest for your loved one, and make sure home is the right place.
Professional At-Home Care
When your loved one’s needs grow beyond what you can manage alone, formal at-home care is another option available to you. This provides all the benefits of at-home care, with added care from professionals. These professionals have the skills to help your loved one with day-to-day tasks that could grow into challenges.
You can choose an in-home care services agency based on your loved one’s specific needs. Depending on the level of care your loved one requires, you can choose an agency that offers companion services and help around the house, in addition to home health and nursing care. In-home nurses can also help seniors with tasks that include transportation, like going to the store or doctors’ appointments.
This option changes the way you spend time with your loved one, too. Instead of spending all your time tackling everyday tasks, physical therapy, or going to appointments, you can spend quality time together.
Daily Out-of-Home Care
When your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you still have your own responsibilities to manage in addition to theirs, like work or other commitments. In these cases, daily out-of-home care is a good option for both you and your loved one.
Adult day centers provide your loved one with a safe place to go during the daytime, and they are also stimulating places to go, too. These centers offer both structure and activities to seniors, which is especially helpful for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Your loved one can go to a movie with the group, attend an art class, or just socialize with other seniors. It all depends on what the adult day centers have to offer! Plus, many adult day centers even provide meals, so your senior loved one doesn’t have to worry about making their own.
Later Stage Options
Eventually, your loved one’s Alzheimer’s or dementia may progress to a point where residential care is the best option for them and your family. Choosing residential care is the easiest and safest choice for round-the-clock care on a professional level.
When you’re researching Alzheimer’s and dementia care in CT, there are a couple of choices you should consider:
- Assisted Living – Assisted living options offer seniors a blend care and community. These are ideal choices for seniors who might need a little help with daily tasks, like getting dressed, bathing, or making meals, but don’t need highly skilled medical care. These communities give seniors a level of independence (they have their own rooms or suites), while still being in a safe environment where there’s always someone available to help them.
In assisted living communities, seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia benefit from the structure of a schedule, routine, and 24-hour medical care. And, they also benefit from the social elements of these communities, like activities and group outings.
- Memory Support – Senior communities that offer memory support are specifically designed with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in mind. These communities offer all the amenities of other senior communities with the added security and support offered by a team of memory specialists.
In memory support communities, your loved one can engage in activities designed to support and maintain memory fitness, like music therapy. They’re also secure, so if a senior gets confused about where they are, they aren’t able to wander off. Because these communities are specially designed for those in need of Alzheimer’s and dementia care in CT, they could be the ideal option for your loved one.
No matter what stage of Alzheimer’s or dementia your loved one is struggling with, you can find the perfect care option for their needs. Think about each stage of Alzheimer’s or dementia and determine which category your loved one fits into. Once you have considered the level of care they require, evaluate your options carefully. When you choose the right option for Alzheimer’s or dementia care in CT, your loved one is sure to have a safe, comfortable, and healthy life.
Want to learn more about your options for Alzheimer’s or dementia care in CT? Download a copy of this free guide on Lifestyle Transitions, a community designed specifically to provide specialized assisted living and memory support.
About Chelsea Sayegh
I started working as a Marketing Coordinator for United Methodist Homes in October of 2016. I work on public relations, website management and community planning for their award winning independent and assisted living communities. As a graduate of Ursinus College with a degree in Media and Communications and a passion for serving nonprofits, United Methodist Homes has become my home away from home. I spend my days working in a community filled with smiling faces, helpful hands and wonderful residents. I have a passion for assisting seniors and take great pride in being able to promote a company with such a positive mission and values. As an individual committed to learning and growing, I have jumped right into this exciting career!
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