Caring for senior loved ones with dementia can be both rewarding and extremely exhausting. While we strive to do everything we can for them and want to be a part of their care as much as possible, it can start to take a toll on us. That is where home care for people with dementia can help. Having an in-home caregiver can help provide relief for family members and friends while at the same time providing personalized care and support for dementia patients within the comfort of their own homes. Professional home care workers, such as those with Visiting Angels Punta Gorda, can come into the home as much or as little as you like to help your senior loved one. They can supplement the care that family members offer, or family members can supplement the care they give. Home care workers also can help with specific tasks or all of the day-to-day tasks your senior needs.Here are some ways home care can help your senior loved one with dementia and also help family members on this care journey.Everyday NeedsProfessionals with home care agencies can help dementia patients with activities of daily living, including bathing, getting dressed and undressed each morning and night, grooming, using the toilet, eating and more. Often dementia patients resist showers. Home care workers skilled in working with memory loss patients can help them at least clean up each day. By helping with these tasks, they can help ensure their safety, health and hygiene are cared for. Home care workers can help them feel more like themselves throughout the day with brushed hair and teeth, clean clothes and a clean environment.SafetyWhile in-home caregivers are present in the home, they will help ensure your senior loved one suffering from dementia is safe. They can help ensure they dont wander from the home or leave the stove burner on after cooking something. If family members cannot always be there, home care workers can alert them to anything that might be a safety hazard, such as a loose rug, wobbly banister or door that your senior loved one keeps unlocking and trying to leave from. If your senior loved one needs more stability during their bathing, caregivers can let the family know they might need to install grab bars. They also can provide a steady hand for seniors and avoid any dangerous areas, such as cords, that could cause potential tripping hazards. Dementia patients may not remember to let their families know what they need or even be aware that it is a concern, so home care workers can provide an extra level of safety protection for them. CompanionshipHaving a homecare worker present can offer seniors with dementia constant companionship. People suffering from dementia often can become isolated or feel lonely, which can worsen their symptoms. Some symptoms of dementia include aggressiveness and/or crabbiness. Dementia patients have been known to push their family members away or to act hostile. A home care worker can provide companionship and support for senior citizens, especially when family members feel like retreating or that they need a break. They can listen to their stories, ask them questions and engage the patient in meaningful social activities to improve their emotional well-being.Relieving the familyThere is no doubt that caring for a loved one with dementia brings with it a ton of emotions and lots of stress. It also can place family members in situations they are not comfortable with. If children feel uncomfortable doing some of the caregiving for their parents, such as bathing or toileting, a home care worker can do the essentials so family members can simply spend time with them. They also can help with some of the more frustrating tasks so that family members dont lose patience and so that clients do not take out their frustration on their family members. Homecare workers also can provide respite care, which means family members can leave the home or caregiving duties for a short period of time. They can go out to coffee with a friend to refresh, have a nice dinner out without worrying about hurrying back to help their loved one, or they can even just take a peaceful nap at home with the help of respite care. Respite care can also provide short-term relief for a weekend away or an extended vacation.We Can HelpIf you are looking for help caring for your senior this spring and every season of the year, our professionals at Visiting Angels Punta Gorda are here to help. We provide a variety of home care services, including companion care, fall prevention and more. Our expert team of caregivers serves clients in Punta Gorda, North Fort Myers, Boca Grande, Cape Coral, Sanibel, Captiva, Arcadia and surrounding areas. To learn more about our services, call us at 941-347-8288, or contact us online.
Over 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimers disease, and 3 million new cases are diagnosed each year. More than 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimers disease or another dementia. These staggering statistics mean that you likely know someone or have a loved one who has a form of dementia. In the United States, 11 million people are acting as unpaid caregivers for a loved one with Alzheimers. November is National Alzheimers Disease Awareness Month, an opportunity to learn more about this disease that is deadlier than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Alzheimers disease is the most common type of dementia. This progressive disease starts with mild memory loss and involves the part of the brain that controls language, thought, and memory, impacting a persons ability to carry out daily activities. Research has not determined the exact cause of Alzheimers, but it is believed that several factors can play a part in the disease, including:Genetics: Family history may be linked to developing Alzheimers, though it is not guaranteed that if someone in your family is affected, you will be, too. Healthy lifestyle choices like exercise, limiting alcohol consumption, not smoking, and eating a healthy diet may help. Age: This is the best-known risk factor for the disease. Environmental factors: Science is studying the potential connection. Changes in the brain: These can happen years before symptoms appear. Since memory loss is not a normal part of aging, knowing the warning signs is important, especially if you have concerns about a loved one. Someone may experience the following symptoms early in the process: Challenges executing familiar tasks at home, work, or during leisure timeDisruptions in daily life due to memory loss, like repeating questions or becoming lost in a familiar placeDifficulties paying bills or handling moneyMood, personality, or behavioral changes Losing items and not being able to figure out how to retrace steps to look for themPoor judgment Memory Care Communities can benefit someone living with dementia as well as give their families peace of mind. Often located within larger assisted living facilities or in smaller residential settings, these specialized facilities can provide dementia care for residents with middle to late stage memory loss. The environment is secure, and full of safety features designed to enhance memory function and decrease potential confusion for anyone who lives there. Memory Care focuses on giving aging adults a safe environment to stay engaged and active in a structured environment. Features can include art classes, physical therapy, fitness classes, music experiences, and communal dining to help residents stay socially connected. CarePatrol has been helping families find the right senior care options for their loved ones for over 30 years. As specialists in the field of aging, CarePatrol Local Senior Care Advisors are able to match older adults to the right communities so they can live their best life, including Assisted Living, Independent Living, Nursing Homes, and Memory Care Communities. Reach out to see how we can help your family today.
I was at a family reunion recently, and I overheard a lady say that one of the challenges of getting old is seeing your parents aging. This lady is probably in her late 50s and she is the caregiver for her mom, who is in her 80s, with very serious health problems. Speaking with the owner of a relatively large business recently, he said that many of his employees are needing to take time off from work. This is because they are caregivers for their parents. This is a sign of the times, and there are an increasing number of people dealing with these issues.This One Is For The CaregiversMost of our presentations and educational content are focused on our clients, whether its retirees in their 60s or seniors in their 70s and 80s. We do estate planning across the generations, but given the increasing number of caregivers taking care of their parents, I wanted to reach out to the caregivers. The title of this blog What to think about when the unthinkable happens, refers to what we should think about and do as caregivers, if a parent becomes sick or passes away.Estate planning is really about the management of control and access. The control aspect refers to who is making the decisions, and access refers to what is allowed with regard to the finances. If my client has a stroke, or gets dementia, they may have mental faculty issues. As a result, they may not be able to manage their own affairs as they used to. If you notice your parents health is declining, as caregivers you need to consider the following:Power Of Attorney DocumentThe first thing you need is a document called a financial power of attorney, which shifts control when someone needs assistance. There are essentially two types of Power of Attorney documents:A springing power of attorney is based on the idea that you sign the document while you have the capacity, so that should anything happen, your child can take over. The problem is that nobody ever admits that they are losing capacity, especially if they have dementia. It then becomes a battle if the child needs to use the power of attorney, to act on behalf of a parent.The other type is a durable power of attorney, which you sign while you have your mental faculties. However, the document is effective immediately even if your child may not use it immediately. This type of Power of Attorney is preferred in most situations. Since dementia is progressive in nature, there will likely be a gradual decline in a seniors mental capacity. Over time, the child caregiver will need to take more responsibility to help their parent. Eventually the time will come when the parent cannot manage on their own. This is the time when the durable power of attorney will work, and is the primary way to plan for someones incapacity.Asset Protection Is ImportantAnother suggestion is to consider doing some asset protection, using an asset protection trust. I recommend these trusts for middle class and upper middle class families who are concerned about long term care expenses. We can work with you to create these trusts. The system in this country often results in seniors going broke if they need long term care. Nursing homes in Pennsylvania cost $180,000 a year and most people cant afford to pay that. Only when you are broke, can you get Medicaid benefits to pay the nursing home. Medicaid is the only payment source for long term care, and its important to understand the rules of Medicaid. One of the rules is that if you have transferred assets to an asset protection trust ahead of time, those assets are protected from long term care costs.We Can Help You To Find Long Term Care FacilitiesIf you have a parent who is starting to slip, they may need long term care at a later stage. Please take the time to understand the different types of facilities available to provide care for your loved one. We help our clients with this aspect, and we have a social worker on our team who is familiar with the different facilities. We help people find good care, which I believe is part of doing good estate planning.Take Care Of YourselfWhile you are taking care of a loved one, if you are a caregiver, you must get the resources to help you to take care of yourself. Here is link to a website with information on caregiver resources: https://www.hospiceandpalliativecareofkodiak.org/caregiver-resources. Jennifer who started this company did so after being a caregiver. She realized the many challenges that caregivers face from an emotional standpoint. You are not in this alone and you also need the support.Losing A Loved OneWhen we talk about the unthinkable happening, we are talking about losing a loved one. Perhaps youre the executor and you are wondering what you should do first if your loved one passes away. Let me reassure you that there is no legal or financial emergency that needs addressing in the first 48 hours. If you have just lost someone dear to you, allow yourself time to grieve. When it comes to the estate administration process, it is a marathon and not a sprint. This is especially pertinent when it comes to probate cases. Please contact the Sechler Law Firm or your estate planning attorney, to get help with the estate administration process.