Caregivers and DementiaWhen someone you care about is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, the matter of their care today and in the future becomes a central priority.  Depending on their level of need, your loved one may be able to remain in their home.  Under other circumstances, the person may require care in a facility.  Whatever the case may be, being informed about your loved one’s care options will help you and your family provide the support they need.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a person with dementia typically has diminished memory or other thinking skills which affect their ability to perform daily tasks. When a person is diagnosed with this type of condition their symptoms can be anywhere from mild to severe. Therefore, their level of care will largely depend on their symptoms and their physician’s recommendations.  Fortunately, different care options are available for the varying stages of this type of illness.

For those with dementia that can remain in their home, having in-home care support may be necessary.  In-home care providers typically can offer services such as companionship, which includes taking the person places for recreation and social visits, personal care which includes helping with daily living tasks such as bathing and eating, homemaker services which may include preparing meals and housekeeping, and skilled care which may consist of medical services which can performed in the home such as physical therapy or wound care.  These different type of in-home care options are usually prescribed by a physician.

For those individuals who remain in the home, there is also the option of attending an adult day care center.  These programs are designed to provide the patient with a safe, supervised place to go and socialize during the day as they attend programs or participate in activities.  Additionally, for those who are providing care for the person, these programs can serve as a place for the person to go while their caregiver works or takes a break from their caregiving duties.

For individuals who can no longer safely remain in the home, residential care is another option.  Residential care facilities are designed to give residents as much of a home-like experience as possible while also providing the staffing and skilled care services they need.   Depending on the person’s condition, they may be able to reside in retirement housing which allows them to access care services quickly while still maintaining their own living space.  For others, an assisted living environment provides a more structured and supervised level of care.   For those with more advanced needs, nursing homes or specialized dementia care units which offer round the clock care services may be the best choice.

When a loved one has dementia, planning for their needs is essential to best ensure they are provided with the attention and care they require. To adequately prepare for your loved one’s future needs and desires, the time to consult an experienced Elder Law attorney is now.   Our office understands and has experience which can help you navigate the resources and choices available to you and your loved one.  Please contact us online or by phone if we may be of assistance.

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