A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be a devastating blow, not only for those who have the disease but for family members that love them. And when a person close to you receives this unfortunate news, you may be tempted to shuffle your life around and open a place in your home so that you can monitor and care for your loved one. However, you may not be the most qualified person for the job. Even with treatment, the disease can be unpredictable. The only thing that is certain is that your loved one’s condition will continue to deteriorate, to the point that he/she won’t even recognize you. This can make life extremely difficult for everyone involved, but it can also be dangerous, for both the person with Alzheimer’s and everyone else. So what are the best care options when your loved one is diagnosed with this degenerative disease? Here are a few to consider.
While you can certainly care for your loved one at home if you so choose, eventually you may find that you need some help. As your family member’s condition deteriorates, he/she will suffer from confusion and memory loss, both of which can naturally lead to outbursts of sorrow, anger, and even violence. Your loved one may do things that a rational adult would not, such as leave the stove on or the water running, or leave the house unaccompanied and get lost. This behavior can be nerve-wracking, for certain, but it can also place your loved one and other family members in danger. At this point, you’ll want to think about caring for your loved one full time or hiring a qualified and experienced caregiver that can offer live-in, round-the-clock service.
But this isn’t your only option. If you need to keep working but you can’t afford live-in help, adult daycare centers specifically designed for patients with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other such disorders could provide the assistance you’re looking for. And local home health services can send out caregivers for specific tasks like feeding, bathing, and grooming your loved one at less cost than a more permanent caregiver situation. But at some point, you may have no real choice but to consider options for care outside the home.
If your loved one is still healthy and relatively capable but doesn’t want to place a burden on your family by moving in with you, an assisted living facility that provides supervision and services like meals, cleaning, and entertainment could be a good option. You can even seek out facilities that are specially designed to help Alzheimer’s patients through added supervision and treatment that is meant to help with memory loss issues. But if your loved one has medical issues (either related to Alzheimer’s or other conditions) that require ongoing attention, your best Alzheimer’s care options may revolve around nursing homes or other senior care management solutions that offer the medical attention, supervision, and support services your loved one needs. There’s no reason to go it alone when a family member or close friend is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. With so many options for care services, you can find the one that is right for you and your loved one.