As dementia progresses, people find even the simplest tasks becoming more difficult and ultimately find it difficult to live independently. Your loved one could have increased difficulty paying attention, planning, learning new things, and can lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.
Each person is individual, and while some people’s dementia symptoms will progress slowly, others may experience more rapid declines in cognitive ability, memory, and ability to live independently.
Family members need support to care for their loved one with dementia, and they also can’t be expected to be able to fulfil every one of their loved one’s needs at all times. Home care supports can help a person with cognitive impairments to stay at home safely and comfortably as long as possible. In addition to respite care, which is very important for the well-being of caregivers as well as those needing care, you can receive therapeutic and interactive services to enrich your loved one’s life.
In addition to therapeutic services, some home care technologies that can benefit people with dementia include:
- Communications support, including tools and devices that can help assist with communications
- Home technology to improve safety
- Monitoring systems to help prevent or respond quickly to falls or prevent night-time wandering
- Item finders
- Orientation clocks for day and time reminders
Help with preparing meals, cleaning, and daily errands can provide needed respite for dementia caregivers. You can choose the amount and level of support you need for your loved one and for yourself if you are a caregiver.
You will also need to make the home ‘dementia-friendly’ and take precautions to:
- Fall prevention by installing safety rails, removing throw rugs, extension cords, or clutter, which could cause trip and fall accidents. Install handholds in the bathroom or walkways and stairwells. Increase lighting in darker areas.
- Prevent poisoning or accidents by installing locks on medicine cabinets and on cupboards containing hazardous substances. Don’t forget storage areas for cleaning supplies or flammable materials.
- Prevent burns and fires. Keep your hot water temperature at a safe fixed maximum level and install hot water cut-off devices. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors wired into the home and check their back-up batteries regularly.
At some point in time, your loved one with dementia may no longer be able to live at home and you will need to consider the next steps. However, many people with dementia can live at home with home care for a long time. Their abilities may become more limited as time goes on, but with proper safety precautions and a dementia-friendly environment, people with dementia can enjoy life.
Their caregivers can enjoy life as well and have respite from their duties as needed, thanks to aged care and at-home care services. Even people with Alzheimer’s disease can enjoy life at home with their family as long as proper precautions are taken and daily care is provided and well-managed.
For more information on home care and supports, contact 365 Care NOW!