When to Consider Professional In-home Care for Seniors with Dementia

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Are dementia patients better at home? This question is one of the most common thoughts plaguing family members and friends of recently diagnosed dementia patients.

Knowing how to care for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia – and understanding the options for home health care for dementia patients – is critical for families trying to navigate the complicated healthcare system.

For seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, living at home is often ideal because it provides them with benefits, like: 

  • Comfortability with their surroundings
  • Higher level of trust in caregivers
  • More personalized attention
  • Longer, more fulfilled lives
  • Cost savings when compared with assisted living or nursing home facilities

However, caring for a loved one with dementia as an adult child or family member may be more than you can handle on your own. There may come a time when professional in-home care for seniors with dementia is necessary.

If you’re unsure what caring for your loved one with dementia looks like, keep reading.

This article will explore how to help seniors with dementia and share tips for keeping Alzheimer’s patients at home. You’ll also get answers to questions, like “Can Alzheimer’s patients live at home?” and “How long can dementia patients live at home?”

Join us as we discuss how to best care for a loved one with dementia and ensure their highest quality of life as they age.

What Percentage of Seniors Have Dementia?

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia negatively impact many cognitive areas, including:

  • Memory
  • Critical thinking
  • Behavior
  • Reasoning
  • Emotions

In addition, these symptoms are progressive, meaning they get worse over time.

Alzheimer’s and dementia affect the lives of millions of families, and the progressive nature of the disease makes it tough on family caregivers. Despite the resources dedicated to home health care for dementia patients, many cases of dementia are never diagnosed, which can make it difficult to truly know what percentage of seniors have dementia.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The figure is already conservative, and it’s only expected to climb as the Baby Boomers age.

Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services found that 63% of senior adults with dementia were over the age of 80.

Alzheimer’s can make living alone very dangerous for seniors. However, with the right in-home care for seniors with dementia, elderly adults with dementia can live full, happy lives.

Can Alzheimer’s Patients Live at Home?

With the right care and specialized training, family members or caregivers can help keep Alzheimer’s and dementia patients in the comfort of their homes.

However, caring for someone with dementia isn’t easy. Everyone’s dementia symptoms progress differently, so it’s important to understand exactly how to care for a family member or loved one living with dementia.

Here are ten tips on how to help seniors with dementia live successfully at home:

  1. Find support resources in your area, and build a plan before problems arise.
  2. Establish routines and train caregivers to follow them consistently.
  3. Treat your loved ones with respect, even when they resist care or don’t seem to respond to your help.
  4. Learn to recognize what triggers outbursts or anxiety episodes in your loved one, then try to avoid them.
  5. Break all tasks down into smaller, more manageable steps.
  6. Search for signs of dehydration, malnutrition, and other physical ailments that can worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms.
  7. Keep medical appointments at the same time every month and try to take your loved one with you.
  8. Look into various forms of Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and find the right fit for your situation.
  9. Try not to argue or fight with someone who has Alzheimer’s; be patient and use distraction as much as possible.
  10. Spend time together as a family, even if your senior doesn’t notice your presence.

While these tips are key to managing the care of a loved one at home, there’s no single way to manage this disease. So, are dementia patients better at home?

If you start noticing that some – or all – of the above tips are too difficult to follow on your own, it’s time to consider home health care for dementia patients.

How to Know When It’s Time to Find Home Health Care for Dementia Patients

Many adult children or family caregivers have one question after receiving a dementia diagnosis about an aging loved one: “How long can dementia patients live at home?”

While each case is unique to the individual with dementia or Alzheimer’s, the following questions can help families decide if a loved one needs additional assistance to maintain their quality of life.

1. Are They No Longer Safe Alone at Home?

Safety is one of the first things to consider when it comes to a loved one with dementia living alone. If your loved one is no longer safe at home alone, it could be time to consider bringing in a professional caregiver. 

As dementia progresses and cognitive abilities decline, individuals with dementia  are more likely to:

These scenarios can have dangerous consequences for seniors without a trusted family member or in-home caregiver looking after them.

Once you notice that your loved one can’t perform simple, daily tasks on their own, keeping an Alzheimer’s patient at home might mean getting professional in-home care.

2. Are Their Symptoms Negatively Impacting the Family’s Quality of Life or Emotional Well-Being?

It’s difficult to see a loved one struggling, and it’s even more difficult if you’re also acting as their caregiver. If your loved one’s decline also begins impacting the family’s emotional or physical health, it might be time to consider bringing in outside help.

It may be tempting to sacrifice your own health to care for someone with Alzheimer’s, but this disease can quickly frustrate and overwhelm those not trained to provide quality in-home care for seniors with dementia

Dedicated support can help ease the burden and stressors on family caregivers while improving the quality of life for loved ones with dementia.

3. Are Their Abilities to Do Basic Tasks Rapidly Diminishing?

When loved ones start losing the ability to complete basic tasks on their own, they may:

  • Become agitated or anxious
  • Lash out physically
  • Have uncontrolled emotional outbursts
  • Unintentionally hurt family or professional caregivers

If these are regular coping mechanisms for your loved one, you may begin to wonder, “when should a dementia patient go into a care home or receive professional in-home help?”

Unfortunately, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are progressive, meaning they continue to worsen over time. Before deciding whether a care home or facility is right for your loved one, you should explore all your options. 

Many experts agree that seniors who receive consistent medical attention from doctors and trained dementia specialists are more likely to continue living at home for as long as possible. 

An expert in-home care manager from a home care agency can help create a tailored health and life management plan that puts a patient’s well-being first. It will also keep your loved ones at home instead of having to move them into a care facility.

Are Dementia Patients Better at Home?

In general, dementia and Alzheimer’s patients can live at home if they receive the proper care and supervision.

As we reviewed today, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients benefit tremendously from living at home. Some of these benefits include:

  • Comfortability with their surroundings
  • Higher level of trust in caregivers
  • More personalized attention
  • Longer, more fulfilled lives
  • Cost savings when compared with assisted living or nursing home facilities

But it can often be challenging to know when to seek out in-home health care for dementia patients. Three signs that professional in-home dementia care could benefit you and your loved one include:

  1. Your loved one’s safety is at risk while they’re alone at home
  2. A loved one’s dementia symptoms are negatively impacting you or other family members
  3. An elderly parent with dementia can’t perform daily tasks independently

Are you considering in-home care for seniors with dementia? 

Stowell Associates is the leading elder care provider for elderly adults with dementia in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, and Waukesha. Stowell Caregivers ensure that your loved ones can continue living at home for as long as possible.

Our team of expert Care Managers will help you in determining the answers to important care questions like:

  • Are dementia patients better at home?
  • How long can dementia patients live at home?
  • When should a dementia patient go into a care home?

For families who are still unsure of the best course of care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you can give us a call to talk to one of our expert Care Advisors. They’ll help you understand what keeping Alzheimer’s patients at home and helping your loved ones live as independently as possible looks like.

We can also help connect you to trained caregivers through our partnership with TheKey, one of the top home care agencies in the area.

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