The time is long past when one has to feel guilty for not being able to provide every service their loved one needs, or to keep going until you can’t go on any longer, either physically or emotionally.
Too many caregivers wait to get help until caring for their loved one becomes a 24/7 job, and their own health is in danger. Taking care of yourself–the caregiver–is as important as taking care of your loved one who needs care. Looking into what services are available should begin as soon as you assume that position, or if your loved one receives a long-term-care diagnosis, such a dementia.
If you’re reading this, you’re already on the Dakota Home Care website. When you’ve finished, return to the Home Page and click on Home Care Services. That will give you an idea of the wide variety of services we offer. Home care isn’t just for older adults with dementia. Our personalized long term care services are appropriate for anyone in need of help at home.
An early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia might mean that life can go on at home with only a few changes to accommodate for noticeable differences in cognitive or physical abilities, such as helping with finances or installing safety bars. Dementia progresses at a different rate and with different symptoms in each person. It’s important to check in with your loved one regularly to assess the situation.
If you’ve noticed one of these 10 signs that your loved one can no long provide all of their own care, you’ve probably already stepped in to help:
- Feeling isolated; no longer able to go out
- Declining health; becoming more frail
- Frequent accidents, falls or injuries
- Unable to maintain a tidy or clean home
- Poor hygiene; infrequent bathing or changing clothes
- Not eating well; unable to prepare balanced meals
- Unpaid bills or other mail piling up
- Incontinence issues
- Forgetting to take medication, or becoming confused about what to take when
- Having driving accidents; getting lost while going to familiar places
Helping with too many of these issues can become an overwhelming task, especially if you don’t live in the same home with your loved one. Safety becomes a serious issue. Unfortunately, with any form of dementia, abilities will only decline. You can’t expect your loved one to change for the better. You may have to tell yourself frequently, “It’s not their fault” when they can no longer do things that they used to do well. It’s easy to become impatient and try to correct behavior, but you are the only one who can change.
If you can’t be there to help, or if the amount of help your loved one needs is beginning to leave you exhausted every day and unable to manage your own life, professional in-home dementia care can have many benefits. In the earlier stages, even an hour or two of respite care can make a huge difference in a caregiver’s well-being. Many home care services are available by the hour for help with challenges like:
- Meal preparation
- Running errands
- Showering and dressing
- Getting ready for bed
- Administering medications
- Some incontinence issues
Eventually, 24/7 in-home dementia care may be needed. It is a cost-effective alternative to memory care or a nursing home that is offered by Dakota Home Care. It’s probably time for workday, overnight or even 24/7 care in situations where your loved one:
- Wanders and is in danger of leaving home and becoming lost
- Gets up in the night and is a fall risk or might not be able to find their way back to bed
- Can no longer get themselves to the bathroom in time
- Can’t bathe, shave or dress themselves
- Has limited mobility and won’t consistently use a walker or cane
- Can no longer communicate their wants and needs
Almost all of us would rather remain in our own homes for any kind of care, but many family caregivers don’t realize that professional, long-term, in-home dementia care is an affordable alternative that allows seniors to remain in their homes for a lifetime. Equally important, in-home care makes it possible for caregivers to continue many of their regular activities without being there 24/7. Dakota Home Care, a leading health care agency in Mandan, Fargo, Bismarck, and the surrounding area, has fully trained memory care specialists who are experienced with innovative approaches to in-home dementia care. You can call us at (877) 691-0015 and schedule a free, no obligation consultation about the help you and your loved one need.