It’s a devastating struggle that far too many Australian families are familiar with. Around 459,000 Australians suffer from dementia. The symptoms affect every aspect of the patient’s life, and people with dementia need significant assistance and accommodations as the condition progresses. Often, family members shoulder the responsibility of providing care. If you are one of these families, you are likely aware that no matter how deeply you love your relative, caretaking can be physically, mentally and emotionally challenging for everyone involved.
You do not have to face this struggle alone. In-home dementia care can provide much-needed help for dementia patients and their families and enable people with dementia to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, there are many reasons you and your loved one might benefit from in-home care.
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1. The Person Needs Medication
Memory loss and confusion are the earliest signs of dementia. For a person who relies on daily medication, this confusion can lead to dangerous mishaps. People with dementia can have trouble remembering to take medication on time. They may miss doses, or they may forget that they have already taken them, resulting in an overdose. If you find that your loved one is struggling to take medication correctly, it may be time to reach out for help. An in-home caregiver can help manage medication and ensure that it is taken on schedule.
2. The Person Is Incontinent
Incontinence is a common issue for people with dementia. The person may struggle with getting to the toilet, unfastening buttons or zippers and going through the motions of using the toilet. Accidents can be a source of shame and embarrassment for a person with dementia. A dementia home care provider can assist with using the toilet and managing incontinence, helping to preserve your loved one’s health and dignity.
3. The Person Needs Help Bathing
As dementia advances, it may become difficult to keep up with daily hygiene tasks. Perhaps you have noticed telltale signs of this in your loved one, such as unkempt hair, body odour or unwashed clothing. If your family member has been struggling to tend to basic hygiene, in-home care may be the answer. A home care service can offer help with daily tasks, such as bathing, grooming and oral care, to help your loved one look and feel healthier and happier.
4. The Person Needs Help Eating
Proper nutrition is essential for elderly people. However, preparing and eating food can be challenging for people with dementia. They may find it difficult to remember all of the steps associated with planning a meal and preparing the food. They may suffer from loss of appetite, or they may forget to eat. If you are concerned that your loved one is not eating properly, this is a good reason to reach out to a home care service.
5. The Person’s Safety Is at Risk
Many safety risks come with the progression of dementia. Disorientation and mobility issues can increase the risk of a fall. Confusion and memory loss can lead to dangerous mistakes; for example, the person may forget to turn off the stove after cooking. When you consult a home care service, you can learn how to modify the home to make it safer for your loved one.
6. The Person Has Pets
Dementia care can benefit all members of the family, not only those with two legs! Animal companionship is often a source of comfort and joy for people with dementia, but dementia can make it difficult to care for pets. Your loved one may have difficulty cleaning up after the animal, providing appropriate exercise and enrichment or remembering a feeding schedule. Home care services can provide valuable resources to keep dementia patients and their furry friends together for years to come.
7. The Person’s Caregivers Are Overwhelmed
Caring for someone with dementia is a challenge. Whether you need help meeting your loved one’s physical needs or you’re looking for emotional support and guidance, in-home care can provide solutions. Not only do home care services provide necessary care to patients, but they also provide resources and support to families like yours. Consult a home care service to find out how they can provide help and respite for you and improve your loved one’s quality of life.