While home care for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia is quite possible, in some cases it can become a bigger challenge than the family or a lone caregiver can manage. Full-time care is taxing for the caregiver and there is extensive burnout. Also, as dementia progresses, remaining in the home might become too difficult or dangerous for the senior. In these instances, it may be wise to seek additional help or move your loved one into a community that can support their cognitive needs. In some cases, living in close proximity to other seniors can actually be a better option for helping a senior with cognitive issues.
You can recreate a lot in home care, in terms of the custodial things – bathing and medications. But the socialization piece that’s so important may be harder to duplicate. And because socialization has been shown to be a critical component of care for people with dementia, in some cases it may be more logical, efficient, and possibly even cheaper to place your loved one into a community that has the right resources to care for their dementia. Families typically do exhaust all avenues, but when safety becomes an issue, it may be time to consider your options.
If it is time to place a loved one in an assisted living or long-term care facility, look for a community that offers more than just the occasional bingo game or chair aerobics class. There’s a difference between engagement and entertainment. For activities to have a cognitive impact, they must reach a person and stimulate what makes them unique. It needs to be what makes every individual tick. That’s when you know the person feels nourished.