Dementia Care Holding Hands

Home care, home health care, independent living, assisted living, memory care…with so many options, how do you determine the best living arrangement for a person with dementia?  Each service offers unique benefits as long as some considerations are made: 

  • What are the person’s safety needs?  Consider cooking, driving, locking toxic substances and medications, and getting lost.
  • Are medical needs met?  Think of reminders to take medications and attend doctor’s appointments and the ability to follow through with doctor recommendations.
  • What is the person’s diet like?  Does he require reminders to eat and drink or special diet accommodations? 
  • Does the person’s daily routine match those of the setting or is she used to sleeping or eating at non-typical times?
  • What type of stimulation is available during the day?  Are the activities available ones that make him feel useful and important? 
  • Does the person need assistance with daily care needs like showering, teeth brushing, and toileting?  Consider that she may only need to be shown where the bathroom is, or help with setting up the toothbrush or fastening clothing.
  • Do the people who live with and around accept the person and disease process?  If she exhibits some of the challenging behaviors that sometimes accompany dementia how will they be viewed and handled?  Will she be ostracized or will they receive the understanding and support that is needed?

In any setting, specialized dementia home care can help address these considerations.  Someone with intensive dementia training can help the person modify lifelong routines and activities so he continues to feel purposeful, the days have meaning, the basic needs are met, and the person is safe.  These caregivers are able to redirect challenging behaviors, assist with personal care, and accommodate individual routine and desires.  Dementia-specialized home care can be utilized for a few hours a week or 24 hours a day, for the person who lives alone or with family.  Dementia specialized home care enhances quality of life for the person and the family, and can be the key to being successful in any setting.  

Article submitted by Michelle Toft M.S.W. and Ed.M., Director of Memory Care Programs with Cypress Home Care