When an elderly loved one starts showing early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s usually time for family members to transition into a more supportive role.
Alzheimer’s disease (this link will take you to a page on the Health Direct website about Alzheimer’s disease) is not curable and it can worsen over time. While modern medicines may help lessen the symptoms, a person with this condition will require a lot of support from their family to help them live comfortably during the time they have left.
If you don’t have any experience taking care of an individual with Alzheimer’s disease, finding the right resources and approach to support the person under your care can be very stressful.
In many cases, the stress caregivers experience can lead to problems with their health and they may find it difficult to balance the needs of the person under their care with other responsibilities, like their jobs and their own needs, like socialising with friends.
This is where Alzheimer’s support services come in.
These are special support services that are designed to help people with Alzheimer’s disease live as comfortably as possible, and also help their caregivers.
Let’s delve deeper into how these helpful services can make a difference in your life and the life of the person under your care.
The benefits of Alzheimer’s support services
Many people might be hesitant to allow someone else to take care of an elderly person under their care. But support services for Alzheimer’s patients can help caregivers meet the needs of their loved ones, and focus on aspects of their own lives.
Here’s how these support services can help.
They can provide support at home
Moving a person with Alzheimer’s disease under your care to a separate institution can be very stressful for them. When they start to experience memory loss, which is a major symptom of Alzheimer’s, being placed in a new environment may confuse them.
They may still have some familiarity with their own home, so giving them the support they need in their own space will be a better alternative. They will also be able to see their family members every day and live by their own rules.
Many of these support services offer home care services where they will send a qualified professional caregiver to tend to the needs of the person under your care.
Depending on the degree to which the disease has affected your loved one, these services will let you decide how much care you want for them.
Another benefit of home care is that you’ll be able to see for yourself if your loved one is getting the care they need, all the while focusing on your other household tasks and daily responsibilities.
They can help maintain a routine
Studies show that maintaining a routine is extremely important for a person with Alzheimer’s. Individuals who are experiencing memory loss need some sort of familiarity to help them thrive.
Over time, the person under your care may start to lose their ability to make plans and will have a hard time learning new things. This can lead to confusion and anxiety for the person under your care.
Support services for Alzheimer’s can help the person under your care create a daily routine that will feel familiar to them and help them cope with the difficulties associated with memory loss.
These services can help the person under your care with daily tasks, like personal care, grocery shopping, visiting their doctor, and other important appointments.
The routine the person under your care follows will need to change as time goes on and as their symptoms increase. But support services will ensure that their routine will be adjusted while still maintaining some of its core elements wherever possible.
They can manage your loved one’s health and safety
Safety is a major concern when caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease. As patients start to lose their familiarity with their surroundings and become confused, this may lead them to have accidents at home.
Workers from support services for Alzheimer’s disease will help you create a safe environment at home so that you don’t need to worry about the person under your care getting hurt.
Care workers provided by these support services are also medically trained to assist the person under your care in case of an emergency.
They can help you with your struggles
Support services may also offer facilities catered toward caregivers themselves.
Taking care of a person with Alzheimer’s disease can be very challenging, so these service providers have support groups where you can meet with other people who take care of an elderly loved one with the condition.
When you join these support groups, they will provide you with a safe environment where you can talk about the difficulty of seeing the person under your care having to deal with Alzheimer’s disease.
You’ll be able to meet other caregivers who are in a similar situation to yours and share your story with them. Through others in the groups, you may be able to learn about ways to improve the quality of life of the person under your care and cope with your loved one’s condition.
Alternatively, these support groups can give you the chance to help others in your position to overcome the challenges of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease and even make a few new friendships along the way.
Service providers can arrange group meetings in person or online to let you attend them in the comfort of your own home.
Alzheimer’s support services can make a difficult time easier
Watching a loved one develop the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is emotionally jarring, but with the right support services, you can make the remaining years of the person under your care happy and comfortable.
See if the person under your care meets the NDIS eligibility checklist (this link will take you to a blog post on the Shine website about the NDIS eligibility checklist) to receive funding for Alzheimer’s support services today.
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