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Caring for Parent With Dementia at Home: How to Know When It’s No Longer Feasible

Dementia is a condition that can start slowly. At the onset it is often mistakenly identified as “just getting older,” but as it progresses slowly, they wonder if it’s something much more than natural aging. And caring for parent with dementia at home comes into question and presents many challenges. The FCA has provided a nice guide to understanding dementia behaviors and will definitely help you determine if your parent is beginning to show signs.

daughter assisting and caring for parent with dementia at homeAs the condition starts to take over the person’s mind, caring for a dementia patient may not longer be feasible. There are many reasons for this to be the case, several of which we address below.

Safety Concerns when Caring for a Dementia Patient

Safety is the primary concern when caring fora parent with dementia at home. Often memory lapses become the source of safety concerns. They may forget to turn off a stove. Or might light a candle and leave it unattended. They may even leave the house and walk aimlessly around the neighborhood. And without supervision or assistance, this can put your loved one at risk.

Unless you’re able to supervise your loved ones all day long, when this stage of dementia happens, it’s best to seek alternative options for care services.

Medication Compliance

Medications are an important consideration, especially when people are getting older. Again, memory lapses can be the cause of problems. Forgetting to take medication or taking it twice can lead to illness and more severe consequences – stroke, heart attack, etc.

Caring for parent with dementia at home means monitoring what medications need to be taken and when.And if caring for a dementia patient is not within your abilities or you are not able to make that large commitment, then it’s best not to try caring for your own parent with dementia at home. It’s better to have them in a living situation with a trained professional that will help them with their prescriptions.

Unkempt Appearance and Home

applying makeup is caring for parent with dementia at home

While this may not appear as much of as threat as the reasons above, it is still highly important. When a parent with dementia at home is unable to keep themselves and their environment clean, issues can occur that can put their health at risk. Good hygiene and maintaining a clean home may be even more important that in past as the parent grows older. As appearance begin to decline it is often a sign that additional help may be necessary.

While this may not be needed on a daily basis, if someone can visit your loved one to help them with daily living skills every other day or at least three times a week, that would be best. If this is not possible, assisted living communities may be a great option.

When Caring for a Parent with Dementia at Home is no longer possible

One of the most common feelings people have caring for a dementia patient is guilt. When it comes seeking elderly care, it’s also common to feel as though you are letting them down, or giving up on them. This guilt is not warranted, though.

caring for a dementia patient means involving her in normal activitiesYou have been caring for your parent with dementia at home up to this point, and now, it’s no longer feasible for you to continue. This does not make you a bad person or inadequate. It simply means your loved one’s needs have exceeded your ability to help him/her enough. Often, because of feelings of guilt, people try to care for parents with dementia at home long beyond what they really can handle. You actually could be doing the wrong thing continuing to try and then putting your older loved one at increased risk, or at the very least providing a less compatible environment that what they really need.

Making the Decision to Seek Elder Care

Reach out to ElderCare Connections for help with this situation. We help you find the right type of support for your loved one’s needs. Whether you need senior placement services or elderly home care our specialists will help you determine the perfect fit for your loved one. We work with people every single day and help them in many ways for no cost at all.

You have nothing to lose so just call us and ask for information. We know it’s a hard time, and we want to make it easier for you. Reach out to us by completing our contact us form, or you can reach us at (513) 685-8998.

Top 10 Questions to Ask a Home Health Care Provider

Deciding to have a home health care provider come to your home to provide health care services is a great way to allow your older loved one to stay inside his or her home independently. As you are looking for a caregiver, you should consider asking these ten very important questions.

elderly woman using questions to ask a home health care provider

Questions to Ask a Home Health Care Provider

You do not have to ask all of these questions, but taking time to interview each candidate will save you time later by not having to spend time looking for a replacement.

#1: Are you certified by Medicare and Medicaid?

If you are paying for the home health care services with Medicare and Medicaid, it’s important to ensure the provider is certified. Most providers will have this certification, but it is always good to ask upfront.

#2: What is your privacy policy?

The home health care provider should not speak to anyone about you unless you have given them permission to do so. Be sure that you have a copy of the privacy policy in case anything were to happen. Some individual providers may not have thought to provide a policy, but they can easily enough create one. And having considered this will make them more aware of their responsibilities. Most home health care provider organizations will have a standard policy that all they’re employees must follow.

#3: What services are included in my care?

home health care provider makes patient feel at home

Services may vary among home health care providers. Be sure to ask this upfront, so you know what you are getting and won’t wonder why something isn’t being done later. Feel free to ask for services that you may need even if they have not mentioned them. You may need to include other types of services for the ones not provided.

#4: Do you have references?

Ask for references and call them to check on experience and customer satisfaction. If the person provides you references to other patients, be sure that it is okay for you to call them without breaking the privacy policy.

#5: What certifications do you currently have related to the services you’ll be providing?

These certifications may be for dementia care or CPR. Look over the certifications to make sure they are current and applicable to your needs.

#6: Can I have your social security number for a background check?

You can perform a background check online nowadays. All you need is the person’s social security number. Some providers may feel uncomfortable giving out their social security number, and that is understandable as they are concerned about security risks and identity theft. So if they choose not to provide it to you it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem with them as a provider. Some home healthcare provider organizations will have already done background checks on all their employees and this saves you the trouble of doing this yourself.

#7: Tell me about an emergency situation you’ve experienced and how you handled it.

This will give you a feel of what the person is like in stressful situations to ensure you or your loved one is in good hands if an emergency happened.

#8: Do you do an assessment and create a treatment plan?home health care provider answers list of questions in writing

It’s a good idea to ask if the person will assess you before beginning services. This way you receive a customized/individualized treatment instead of just general services. It is important to keep in mind that your doctor’s treatment plan should take priority over the home healthcare provider’s assessment. If their recommendations are in conflict with your doctor’s be sure to let them know and check with your doctor prior to beginning the treatment plan.

#9: What happens if there is a problem?

If you’re working with an agency, it’s good to know what the procedures are if a problem arises. Usually they will have specific guidelines for how to handle each situation.

#10: What times of the day will the home health care provider be at the house?

Scheduling specific times for visits is usually better than drop-ins, so that family members can make plans to come by in between when the services are being provided.

Find Home Health Care Providers with ElderCare Connections

ElderCare Connections specializes in helping older individuals and their loved ones with referrals to a home health care provider for no cost. We review what you want in a provider, and then send you some options. If you need additional options, we are here for you to help. Just give us a call now at 513-685-8998 or fill out our Contact Us form.