Alzheimer’s Disease: if you haven’t thought about it much, you might want to start. Especially if you are the caregiver for an elderly family member or friend. Currently, it is believed that 747,000 Canadians are suffering from Alzheimer’s; this number will go up to 1.4 million by 2031. It is a disease that we all need to be prepared for.
Although it can strike at any age, Alzheimer’s primarily affects the elderly. The brain is attacked by deposits that cause brain cells to degenerate and eventually die, and the brain shrinks in the process. Obviously, this causes dramatic changes in the afflicted individual, such as changes in cognitive abilities, mood, physical abilities, and behaviour. These changes often manifest as a loss of coordination, to the point of being unable to perform simple daily tasks, confusion, memory loss, difficulty thinking, out-of-character behaviour, and other issues. Although there are some medications and treatment to slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s in the early stages, there is no known cure for the condition.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that has a ripple effect on those who surround the victim. Aside from the sympathy and pain felt for the loved one who is suffering, family members and close friends will be relied upon to care for the Alzheimer’s patient. As the disease progresses, the patient will be less able to care for themselves and their wellbeing. Eventually, they will need 24-hour care. Currently, 1 in 5 Canadians over the age of 45 provide some form of care to a senior; almost 25% of caregivers are over the age of 75 themselves. Caring for an elderly loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s is a challenge, as the caregiver must be active 24-hours a day. This is especially hard for those who have jobs or children of their own to care for. It is for these reasons that more people are turning to home health live-in and dementia care workers to help them with this difficult problem. Here are some of the benefits of a live-in or Alzheimer care worker:
Alzheimer and dementia care is so difficult because there are two aspects that need attention: the physical and the mental. Medicine needs to be regularly administered; symptoms and vitals need to be carefully monitored; injuries must be tended too; and the patient might also be suffering from other unrelated conditions (diabetes, heart disease) that also need to be dealt with. In addition to all this, your loved one may need help dressing, bathing, eating, and cleaning if their mental faculties have diminished. As much as you might want to help, it is better to have a trained healthcare worker who has experience with Alzheimer care and knows how to handle any situation. A qualified live-in caregiver can give your loved one the care they deserve.
A Familiar Environment
While some might feel more comfortable to have their loved one in a hospital setting, Alzheimer’s patients actually prefer a more familiar and secure environment. The routine and structure of their own home will ease their anxiety and stress. Live-in Alzheimer and dementia care offers this relief as opposed to a medical facility.
No one wants to have to think about costs, but it is a reality. It has an impact on the care we can provide for our loved one. Live-in care will be more economical than a bed in a healthcare facility. That money can go to other things for the patient.
People like to have a sense of freedom and dignity when under constant care. It allows them to have some control over the situation; a caregiver in the home will provide this control. As well, family and friends can visit whenever and however long they want.
If you are caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s, it may be time to consider a live-in caregiver to provide your loved one with the right dementia and Alzheimer care. iCare Home Health Services can give you what you need. Offering care services in Oakville, Burlington, and all over the Greater Toronto Area, iCare Home Health Services will send a live-in care provider directly to the home of your loved one. Professional, certified, and efficient, our caregivers will give you peace of mind while your family member is taken care of. We offer a wide variety of packages, including one specifically for Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Contact us now for more information.