Alzheimer’s affects 5.8 million men and women in the U.S. Of those people, 80 percent are 75 or older. Ten percent of Americans over the age of 64 have Alzheimer’s. In just 30 years, it’s expected that 13.8 million people in the U.S. will have Alzheimer’s. The cost of care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease is high. Family and unpaid caregivers provide around $244 billion worth of dementia care each year to a family member or friend with this disease. How can home care help? If you’re in that position, there are pros and cons that you have to consider.
Every Day is Different
You’re going to have good days. You’ll love every moment you spend with your mom or dad on happy, cooperative days. Cherish those days.
You will also have bad days. Some tasks you would expect to be simple can be quite challenging. The dinner your mom loved last week becomes something she says is disgusting and that she’s never liked it. Showering may be last on her list of things she cares about, even if she smells like she needs one. You need to think quickly and be ready to distract to get her to cooperate.
Delusions Are Normal
Delusions and paranoia are common symptoms in the mid and late stages of Alzheimer’s. If your dad is convinced a neighbor is trying to steal from him, don’t argue. Work with him to find safe hiding spots for the things he’s convinced are going to get stolen. You can put them back later.
It’s Okay to Say No
When you’re the sibling who works at home or works part-time, the pressure will be on you to be your parent’s caregiver. It’s okay to say no. If you’re certain that caregiving is not something you can do 24/7, speak up.
Offer to do the cooking each week but state that it would be better for home care to help with other tasks around the house. You cannot let care take over your life. If you do, you can become overly stressed and find your health is impacted as a result. Relying on the services provided through home care can allow you to spend time with your seniors during their best days and not be responsible entirely for their care.
If you ever cared for a toddler, you may find that caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s is similar. Some days are great, but others can be a roller coaster ride of tantrums and refusals. That can be exhausting, but it’s more so when it’s your parent behaving in that manner.
You need to make sure you’re arranging home care into your weekly schedule. Caregivers are incredibly helpful at making sure you’re able to take breaks and recharge. Use respite care to take a few days to do things around your own home. Have home care providers sit with your mom or dad while you go for a walk, take a bath, or go to the salon. It doesn’t matter how you take the break, just make sure you are taking that break.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Apache Junction, AZ, or anywhere in the East Valley, please contact the caring staff at Legacy Home Care.
Call (480) 777-0070